The History of Automatic Doors

The History of Automatic Doors

Here at ABC Industrial we are known for our wide range of high quality shutters however automatic doors also play a big role in our success. After all, the majority of things are automatic these days which means that the addition of automatic doors are only increasing in everyday locations. In fact, not only can you find automatic doors in hospitals, supermarkets, hotels and shopping centres, you can also find them in obscure places like schools, public transport, restaurants and even some homes! Read on to find out the rich history behind the invention of automatic doors…

The automatic doors that we rely on each and every day, likely without realising it, actually originate from ancient Greece thanks to a Greek Mathematician who went by the name of Heron of Alexandria. He was credited as the inventor of the early automatic door system we know of today however his version utilised ropes and pulleys. In fact, his clever idea also used water that was heated by fire then pumped into containers which triggered the doors to open.

Whilst most of Heron of Alexandria’s work has been lost, it has paved the way for the modern version we know of today and the 20th century introduced automatic doors as a product to be purchased. In fact, in 1931 the first optical device to trigger automatic doors was invented by American engineers Horace H Raymond and Sheldon S Roby. Following this, another pair of Americans called Dee Horton and Lew Hewitt designed automatic doors where were activated through mat actuators in 1954. These relied on an electronic system that was out of view which sensed the weight of a person in order to open automatically. This designed increased in popularity immensely during the 60’s, with automatic sliding doors being installed in public places like hotels, banks and supermarkets.

It is the 70’s when motion activation took over in order to modernise the design on automatic doors, triggering an almost overnight increase in popularity. This was down to automatic doors allowing the disabled the opportunity to get around easier. After further developments, the 80’s welcomed revolving automatic doors that detected motion and the 90’s birthed folding automatic doors as well as infrared sensors in place of the motion detectors.

In such a high-tech society it is important that we are able to stay up to date with what is going on in the world. In fact, it is thanks to these developments that we have been able to create such advanced and modern automatic doors today. To find out more information, get in contact with a member of the ABC Industrial team today!


Posted: 29-01-2018