We all love a good timeline. It serves that, as the age of the automobile spread throughout America, carriage houses were no longer carriage houses. They became what we now know as the garage. Soon after, people started wondering how they could make garages more convenient to use. After all, you’re not walking a horse through anymore; you don’t need those huge double swing-open doors. So, where’d the overhead garage door come from? And how did technology progress to make industrial exterior doors what we see today?
1921: C.G. Johnson invents the first overhead door, which could be lifted and tilted to sit parallel to the ceiling. These garage doors were made of wood.
1926: C.G. Johnson invents the first electric opener for those heavy wood overhead doors.
1954: Ervin Hostetler, who invented the first horizontally-folding overhead door, sells his garage door business to Emanuel Mullet.
1956: Wayne-Dalton Doors moves its manufacturing to Amish country, Ohio. Majority of wooden exterior doors are produced here.
1970’s: Galvanized steel, aluminum, vinyl and fiberglass overhead doors are introduced. Types of overhead doors proliferate – tilt-up, sectionals, steel slat rollup doors, etc.
1980’s: Automatic garage door openers enter the market, but have no safety mechanisms, and cause property damage and bodily harm at alarming rates, up through the mid-90’s.
2000’s: Wi-Fi and smartphone tech gets integrated with security systems and automatic overhead door openers of all kinds, allowing remote operation, access and monitoring of overhead door usage for homes and businesses.