The Untold History of Garage Doors

Garage Door Opener

The overhead garage door has been an integral part of our culture for generations. From its inception in the late 1920s to today’s all-electronic models, there have been countless innovations and improvements developed to make life easier and to keep our homes more secure. Let’s take a look back at the long history of garage doors and some of their untold secrets.  

The Untold History of Garage Doors

While the first overhead garage door didn’t take shape until the 1920s, garage doors, in their most stripped down and archaic forms, date back thousands of years. Since 3500 BC or possibly even earlier, the first wheels appeared. From the first wagons to donkey or horse-drawn carriages, humans have been using wheels for different modes of transportation long before automatic garage doors first appeared. Surrounding the evolution of the wheel, people have been trying to find ways to store their antiquated vehicles for safekeeping. 

In the 18th and 19th centuries, gatehouses and carriage houses were the first of many different storage spaces used for vehicles. Much like a barn, these structures were rarely attached to homes or businesses and owners would have to contend with inclement weather to get to their wagons and horse-drawn carriages. These buildings had heavy doors that swung outward and hung on hinges. Due to the extreme weight of the materials used for the first version of garage doors, these carriage doors often included steel crosshatches in Z or X-shaped formations to reinforce them so as not to sag. 

The Introduction of the Automobile 

As the 1800s came to a close, automobiles slowly began to replace the 4-legged fueled transportation of decades past. Henry Ford officially introduced the first line of cars in 1903 and called them the Model A. It donned the iconic blue oval logo that is still used on Ford Motor automobiles to this day. They were equipped with features like a safety glass windshield. 

Even with all of these advancements in transportation, since the Model A didn’t have a proper roof, they needed to be stored somewhere away from the elements when not in use. The first automobiles were also expensive. Those wealthy enough to acquire one at that time wanted a way to protect their prized investment. This is when traditional garages started to appear. Fun fact, the word “garage” was added to the English dictionary in 1902 and is derived from the French word “garer”, which translates to shelter. Makes sense, right? 

The Evolution of the Overhead Garage Door

As automobiles evolved and the population grew more Americans began moving into urban areas, they needed designated places to park and securely store their cars. And in 1921 a man named C.G. Johnson answered their calls by inventing the first overhead garage door, replacing the cumbersome carriage doors that had to be manually opened and fastened shut. 

By the 20th-century homeowners began to desire convenience, and architects started designing homes that had attached garages. As cars grew in popularity and in size after World War II, many households owned two vehicles instead of just one and needed even larger attached garages to store them. And with this demand, the garage door went through multiple transformations until it became what we know today. 

Now you can purchase garage doors in all shapes, sizes, and in just about any material. Homes now prefer to have a multiple-car garage that matches the exterior of their home. They are outfitted with advanced sensors, are able to connect to your smartphone, and can even be programmed to open and close at certain times of the day or night depending on your schedule. 

The sky’s the limit when choosing a garage door that best suits your needs and style. Interestingly enough, in recent years, some homeowners have opted to bring back the style of the old-school carriage house doors but with the modern conveniences of today’s garage door technology.  

Today garages are used for far more than just to store your vehicles. Nearly 80% of homeowners use their garage for something other than automobile storage. They have been converted into workshops, game rooms, and art studios, to name a few. Whatever your needs may be, in today’s world of garage doors, you can find material and finish to satisfy your lifestyle. 

Contact Precision Garage Door of Las Vegas

Are you in need of a new garage door installation or need to repair your existing garage door? It’s time to call the professionals at Precision Garage Door Las Vegas. Don’t get trapped in your garage or in a situation where you’re unable to open and close your garage door. We can send a technician out immediately to repair or replace your broken garage door springs. Our technicians are trained to handle all kinds of garage door, opener, and sensor issues and fix the problem. Call 702-637-2700 for same-day service.