A Short History of the Garage
Although gasoline-powered automobiles have been around since the 1870s, garages in which to house those automobiles didn’t become popular until the second decade of the 20th century. Today, nearly two-thirds of all American households have a carport whose primary purpose is housing a motor vehicle. Many modern garages have other purposes too, of course. They’re used as storage areas, as workshops, as offices and even as spare bedrooms. If you need garage door repair in Visalia, it’s important to seek it as soon as possible to protect your things.
Carriage House Beginnings
The word “garage” is derived from the French verb “garer,” which means “to store.” When garages were first incorporated into London homes in 1912, the structures were called “motor houses.” The architect Charles Harrison Townsend preferred the term “garage” because it sounded more elegant. Before the introduction of discrete garages, automobiles were stored in carriage houses that had once been used to house buggies and horses, and many estate owners began renting out their carriage houses to car owners. The scent of animal manure tended to linger on the vehicles, however, so it was clear another storage solution was necessary.
Inventions That Increased Garage Popularity
In 1921, Congress passed a Federal Highway Act, and soon, every road in the U.S. was crowded with cars. Catalog giant Sears Roebuck had already begun introducing kits for building houses to the American public in 1908. One of their very first kits contained plans for a detached garage that could be placed anywhere on the purchaser’s property. These garages were basically glorified sheds with doors that swung open and shut like a barn’s. Swinging doors didn’t work very well in areas with a lot of snow in the wintertime, and in the early 1920s, sliding doors were developed. Sliding doors worked well, but they meant an increase to the overall size of the garage. Meanwhile, an American inventor named C.G. Johnson developed the first overhead garage door in 1921, and five years later, he developed the electric garage door opener. Of course, every car owner in America wanted one.
Importance of Garage Security
Today, an estimated 88 million American homes have garages. Most of those garages are attached in some way to their owners’ homes, which makes the importance of a secure garage door more vital than ever.