History of the Garage Door Opener

History of the Garage Door Opener
Reprinted from Popular Science magazine, December 1918, page 62.

Automobilists will appreciate the convenience of the sel-opened-and-closed garage door invented by T. W. Meilkejohn, of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

The principle of operation is simple, consisting of a mechanism for opening the door and another for closing it.

That required for the automatic door opening is perhaps the most novel and consists of a bent U shaped bar placed in the runway accross the sidewalk leading to the door and releasing a pivoted door latch by means of two rods and a bell-crank lever positioned in a covered trench under the sidewalk from the curb to the inside of the front wall of the garage.

When the wheels of a car pass over the U-bar, the latter is forced against the runway, releasing the door-latch by means of the rods and bell-crank lever. As soon as the latch is released, the door is opened by means of a weight carried on a rope attached to the top of the door and run over a pulley placed on the garage wall.

By means of a pull-cord, compressed air is let into one end of a cylinder hung on the wall above the door, and closes the door.


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