Inventor of the Garage Door

28 Feb. 22

Who Invented The Garage Door?

Garages have been around for as long as people have been using some form of wheels for transportation. In it’s earliest form, a standalone carriage house served as the garage. Though this rusting structure often consisted of dirt floors, simple walls, and a gate. As production of the automobile skyrocketed in the 20th century, people felt the need for a more secure and durable form of storage. This originally looked like private garages for rent before transforming into something more personal; that didn’t require a fee or some other form of transportation to reach. Thus the garage as we know it was born!  

So When Did The Door Come Into Play?

Garage doors originally looked like two barn doors that swung outward. Unfortunately, the daily wear and tear of opening these doors took a quicker toll than the garage doors of today. The near constant need for replacement, combined with the difficulty and strength required to operate the door, made society hungry for a solution. A new door needed to be invented. 

Who Do We Have To Thank For Modern Garage Doors?

In 1920, a lodger in Detroit was working as a salesman in the auto specialties industry. The man was named C.G. Johnson, and he was a visionary. He understood that people needed a garage door that opened up and out of the way, and seized the potential as Ford Motor Company began manufacturing over 1 million new, affordable cars for the first time.

n 1921, he created the Overhead Door Company and invented the first overhead sectional garage door. To sell the new product, Johnson mounted a small prototype of the door on the back of his Model T Ford, and drove around the country signing up distributors.​ Five years later, he invented the first electrical garage door opener. Beginning in Detroit, the original garage door factory was a two-story, 1,000 SF building with a production capacity of one door per day. In 1924, the factory moved to Hartford City, Indiana, and built a new plant with 200,000 SF of manufacturing space.​​​​​​ Today, the Overhead Door Company still exists; having been a leading provider of garage doors for almost 100 years.