Automatic doors are used throughout the world. From supermarkets to schools and hospitals to offices, you probably use them almost every day of your life. You may be surprised to find out that automatic doors actually originated in ancient Greece. Greek mathematician Heron of Alexandria invented an automatic door system using a series of ropes and pulleys. Water was heated by a large fire and pumped into containers which activated the opening system.
The beginnings of automation
After the initial Greek foray into automatic door systems, it wasn’t until the 20th century that automatic doors were developed as a popular product. In 1931, two American engineers, Horace H. Raymond and Sheldon S. Roby designed the first optical device to open an automatic door. The invention was installed in Wilcox’s Pier Restaurant to help waiters carrying plates and glasses.
In 1954, during a period of post-war optimism, another pair of Americans, Dee Horton and Lew Hewitt invented the first automatic doors operated by mat actuators. Mat actuators use a hidden electronic system inside the door mat. When someone stands on the mat the door automatically opens. They became increasingly popular throughout the 1960s with automatic sliding doors being installed in many public buildings such as banks, hotels, and shopping centres.
Motion activated automatic doors
During the 1970s, motion sensors were invented and used to actuate the opening of automatic doors. This triggered a boom in popularity with automatic doors helping to provide disabled access and opening up buildings using contactless technology on a grand scale.
In the 1980s, automatic revolving doors were released and motion detectors became increasingly common for automatic sliding doors. In the 1990s, automatic folding doors were invented and active infrared sensors became the standard activation method.
In today’s high-tech society, automatic doors have become a common sight on commercial buildings across the globe. At The Automatic Door Company, we have over a decades experience installing and servicing automatic doors. We have all the essential skills and knowledge to ensure that your automatic doors continue to provide the highest levels of performance for years to come.
If you’d like to find out more about our range of products and services contact us today. Call us on 0800 0461 105 or send us a message online.