At Crawford Door Sales, we’re proud to be your top source for both residential and commercial garage door products. From our high-speed doors for workplaces to several durable options for the home, we have all the materials and expertise to craft you the perfect protective door for your needs.

Our technicians and craftsmen are highly in tune with what makes a great garage door, and this also includes being in tune with the history of garage doors – what they were first used for, how their designs changed over time and how they evolved into what they are today. In part one of this two-part blog, let’s go over some of the earlier parts of the history of garage doors.


Ancient Garage History

Various writings and histories can track garage doors back as far as 3500 BC, or maybe even earlier. Their invention and popularity can be traced in lockstep with the creation of the wheel, which quickly gave way to a huge rise in wheeled forms of transportation in the ancient world. Back in these very early times, city and town gatehouses were the primary forms of vehicle storage and protection.

By the 18th and 19th centuries, places like colonial America saw a rise in carriage houses as these kinds of storage. These were generally detached areas similar to barns (in fact, they often doubled as barns) – with dirt floors and simple gates to store the vehicle.

Invention of the Automobile

By the end of the 1800s and the start of the 20th century, the automobile had been invented and was becoming more and more popular. By roughly 1900, cars had largely replaced carriages as the primary mode of transportation – but people needed somewhere to store them.

This was when the vision of what we know as the modern garage began to take shape. The term first appeared in a dictionary in 1902, and the earliest garages came with no roofs – leading some car owners to continue to park them in areas like barns to avoid rain and snow. In some larger urban areas, private garages with roofs began to appear, charging fees for storage.

Before long, cars were everywhere and personal garages began to spring up. Companies like Sears began to offer portable garages and mail-order kits, and upward operation doors were introduced by 1906.

Design Evolution

Early on, garage doors were very similar to carriage doors – swing-out options that could have issues with snow or other blockages, and also required frequent maintenance. Before long, sectional doors began appearing, and not long after this, overhead garage doors were created for much simpler access while opening and closing.

To learn more about the history of garage doors, or for any of our residential or commercial garage door products, speak to the pros at Crawford Door Sales today.

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