It’s likely that when the first automobile was parked in front of a home, nobody at first considered exactly where the vehicle should park. Should it be parked with the horse and carriage? Out in front of the home at risk from elements? It’s safe to say that the invention of the garage – and just as important, the garage door – changed the way people looked at their new, fancy vehicles.
The first garage was invented as a type of outbuilding which had before been nothing more than a place to keep a horse and carriage. Prior to the invention of the garage and garage door, cars were generally kept in the same building with the horses, but since those fortunate enough to have a car were generally wealthy, this was not the ideal option.
Initially, the first garages were not designed for private homes, but rather public places where money could be charged for the privilege of having a roof over your car’s head and a garage door to keep it all safe. Some of these garages were privately owned and others were publicly owned. The owners were often able to collect as much as $15 a month for parking.
After several years, this method of keeping cars safe and clean became outdated as more and more people owned cars. There had to be a better option. People wanted their garage and garage door – the whole kit and caboodle – to be closer to home, so the concept of a garage and door the way we know it today was born.
The first garage door was like a barn door in that it was a double door that opened outwards and was attached with strap hinges. This system was problematic – the hinges were prone to extreme wear and tear with the opening and closing of the garage door at least once a day. If it was snowy, the snow would block the door making it difficult to open, even after snow had been shoveled.
The invention of the overhead garage door became necessity. It was with this invention that the whole notion of the garage changed. Over the years garage doors have gone from folding overhead to rolling up to being controlled by remote. They have gone from housing one car to being large enough for three or more.