Residential - Commercial - Industrial


History of Garage Door Opener

Garage Door Opener Technology: Then and Now

Explore the history of garage door openers. From the first garage door opener to the latest in garage door opener technology.

Wonder where the word “garage” comes from? The word originated from the french word “garer”. It means to shelter or protect.

As owning cars became increasingly popular and accessible, there came a need to store said vehicles to protect them from the elements.  Early on, vehicles were stored in carriage houses with the horses. Slowly the garage became a building designated specifically for housing vehicles. We still shelter our vehicles in the garage today. But the garage has become a multi-purpose space: parking and storage units, as well as work and social gathering places.

Garage door opener technology evolved along with the garage, and today offers homeowners convenience, security and peace of mind.


The first upward lifting sectional overhead door was invented by C.G. Johnson in 1921. It was quite weighty.

To assist with lifting those early doors, the electric garage door opener was invented. (It’s interesting to note that garage door openers don’t do the heavy lifting of the garage doors. The counterbalanced springs that are attached to the door do all the hard work.)

Sometime after 1945, electric openers that opened using keypads mounted on posts at the end of driveways or a switch inside the garage became popular.

Garage door opener technology continued its evolution as wireless remote controls which worked in conjunction with receivers were used. A simple design consisting of a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter would transmit on a specified frequency and the receiver would then open or close the door, depending on the door position.

Popularity of these devises increased, as did some accompanying problems which was shared frequency: Homeowners attempting to open their garages would also open their neighbour’s door. What came next in garage door opener technology was the development of multi-code systems to answer the problem of the shared frequency.


There have been many exciting and innovative advancements in garage door opener technology including:

1. Battery Backup:

Access your garage any time, even during power failure.


2. Accessories:

LiftMaster remote controls and accessories add the finishing touches to your garage upgrade or help you replace older equipment with new, top-of-the-line ones. Accessories include, but are not limited to: universal remote controls, wireless keypads, keychain remotes, integrated carbon monoxide sensors (which open door when exhaust fumes detected), visor garage door openers, etc.


3. LiftMaster MyQ Technology:

With the myQ app, you can control your garage door, home lighting and more – from anywhere – using your smartphone or computer. Know what’s going on at home even while you’re away. And you never wonder if the garage door was left open again. Peace of mind, right in the palm of your hand.

  • Receive real-time activity alerts. Get notified when your garage door opens and closes so you know when loved ones come and go.
  • Remotely open/close your garage door. Allow repairmen, delivery persons or dog walkers secure access even if you won’t be home.
  • Schedule myQ lights and controls to turn on/off. Turn on your house lights before you get home at night, set your coffee maker 20 minutes before your arrive, or control the pump system for the cottage from anywhere!
  • Invite up to three people to control your myQ devices.

MyQ accessories are easy to install, and have security features including a rolling code every time you use it.


4. Jackshaft Opener:

First created and used predominantly for commercial doors, but have been redesigned for residential garage doors and the popularity is growing because:
•    Frees up ceiling space

•    Good for high lift or hoist for cars

•    Battery backup


Jackshaft LM8500 garage door opener, Uxbridge ON

5. Security:

•    A new code is sent to garage door opener with every click so the door opens only for you.
•    Audible and visual warning systems when garage door is about to close when using MyQ technology timer to close.
•    Electronically monitors against forced opening.
•    Automatically closes the door after a pre-programmed number of minutes in case you forgot to close the door.
•    Safety sensors project light beam across garage door opening, and automatically reverses door if anything interrupts the beam.
•    Motion detector activates the garage door opener lights when you walk in so you won’t have to fumble in the dark.

Although these devices brought convenience, as with many new developments involving electronics, the issue of safety very quickly emerged. With no regulations in place in the early years of the electric garage door opener, many injuries resulted from pinched fingers to head injuries and entrapment. Serious considerations and changes were required and regulations began to be put in place. Legislation has been put into effect to reduce injuries and deaths, and some of the most important safety features include:
•    Doors are required to reverse on contact.
•    Have an emergency release cable.
•    Photo eyes/motion sensors.

For more information about safety click here.


Garage door opener technology has come a long way since 1921! The sky is the limit when it comes to advancements.

Many homeowners already enjoy the benefits of finger print technology to open their garage doors. Just think: they don’t have to worry about lost keys or remotes, there’s nothing extra to carry, and no codes to remember!

We are excited to watch technology advancements in the coming years. Could voice activation be the up and coming technology? What new and exciting innovations do you think will come next?

LiftMaster MyQ Technology Uxbridge Ontario

Need a new garage door opener? We can help suggest the best product for the best value. Contact us today!

Finally, for more information about garage door opener technology, garage door safety and security, or garage door tips, visit our News Page or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.








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