The History of Garage Doors  

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The History of Garage Doors

I bet you’ve never looked at your garage door and wondered where the idea for it came from. How could you possibly wonder that about such a mundane object?

history of garage door repairsAs with any invention, there was a need behind having a garage door. Of course, this makes sense. You wouldn’t want someone to wander into the garage and drive off with your car.

Now I ask you, when do you think was the first appearance of this invention? When Ford’s Model T became available? When cars were first invented?

If you can believe it, garage doors date all the way back to Roman times.


We can date the use of gatehouses as chariot garages back to 450 BC in the Roman Empire. Romans stored their chariots in gatehouses to prevent damage from the elements and deter burglars.

Many references to chariot storage have been made in ancient Greek texts. While there’s little description of these gatehouses, they undoubtedly would have had lockable doors to prevent the chariot from being stolen.


From the chariot came the horse-drawn coaches and carriages that we typically think of as pre-automobile transportation. Some types of families, for example, wealthy families and farming families, would have had reason to have several horse-drawn vehicles, albeit for different reasons.

With more modes of transportation and more people owning them came a greater need to store and protect them.


garage door historyCarriage houses and early vehicle storage typically had doors that swung outward, taking up a lot of space and inconveniencing drivers when there was snow on the ground.

In 1921, C.G. Johnson invented the first overhead garage door which folded its panels upward into the ceiling. This not only saved space but added a huge convenience factor for drivers.

Five years later, C.G. Johnson took his invention one step further and created the electric overhead garage door. It’s from this model that we have made all of our garage door improvements.


We’ve come through many garage door versions to arrive at what we have today. Garage doors these days are made of lighter and more weather-resistant materials than the wooden doors we began with.

Opening garage doors is easier than ever with connected homes. We also have fewer injuries and fatalities than with previous doors as sensor technology has improved.We can even match our garage doors to our home’s aesthetics, making it appear to be a part of the house instead of an eyesore.

So the next time you pull up to your garage and click your remote, thank the Romans for thinking of the garage in the first place!


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