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The history of automatic doors

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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

automatic doors

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.

Testimonials
  • “The Automatic Door Company (ADC) were asked to quote for the contract to maintain the Auto Doors at East Cheshire NHS Trust in 2014. Which has been carried out to an exceptional standard. During this period ADC have also replaced two doors to the entrance to our A&E these doors have changed the appearance and functionality of the A&E. ADC have also carried out the installation to the entrance to Orthopaedics this has changed the waiting area for the better and the waiting area is now more comfortable for patients and staff within the waiting area. Over all ADC have work to a high standard as I look forward to working with ADC in the future.”

    East Cheshire NHS Trust (Laurence Edwards, Estates officer)
  • “Edge Hill University have been using ADC for the installation, servicing and reactive repairs of our automatic doors for a number of years. The work they have carried out is neat, tidy and has been delivered to a high standard. Site Engineers are always well presented, polite and communicate in a professional manner, Customer Service Excellence is a core requirement for Edge Hill University. I would not hesitate to recommend (working with) The Automatic Door Company. Technical enquiries are always responded to in a prompt manner, with Administrative Staff willing to help in any way they can.”

    Edge Hill University (Mark Burton, Facilities Manager)
  • “On a busy university campus its vital that the infra-structure runs smoothly. ADC have maintained and repaired the doors here for many years, giving us a very dependable service at a competitive price, and moreover total piece of mind.”

    Edge Hill University (Colin Francis, Maintenance Supervisor)
  • “ADC have serviced our automatic doors for a number of years now and we would highly recommend their service. They are quick to respond to enquiries and maintain a professional demeanour when on site. Their skilled engineers are friendly and always willing to go out of their way to help with any issues or queries we may have. We are very happy with the service ADC provide and wouldn’t hesitate to use them again.”

    Guardian Print Centre (Rob Court, Facilities Manager)
  • “The ADC Service engineers are highly reliable and hardworking. They are thoughtful of our needs and always willing to go the extra mile to help us, offering information and advice as well as quality service. We have worked with ADC for the past 9 years and we would use ADC for future works as we are pleased with everything they have delivered so far.”

    Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council (Glyn Greenwood, Assistant Building Management Officer)

Areas we serve

The Automatic Door Company install high calibre commercial automatic doors across North Wales, Merseyside and the North West. No matter the job our installation teams always work to the highest industry standards.

We will work with you to help provide the perfect solution for your project ensuring we meet your needs, specifications and most importantly your budget!

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