About C.G. Johnson, the Inventor of the Overhead Garage Door
Our founder, C.G. Johnson, was a true innovator and the epitome of a clever entrepreneur. He recognized the nagging problem of his day and came up with the most ingenious solution: the original Overhead Door. Just five years later, he invented the first electric garage door opener. Then he leveraged those innovations into a business and a brand that quickly gained a reputation for quality, service and integrity.
The Year was 1921
C.G. Johnson of Detroit, invents the “upward-lifting garage door,” selling this new product to a prospering nation that was exchanging horse and buggy for the automobile. Partnering with attorney Forest Mckee of Hartford City, Indiana, the company starts its first plant in Detroit. To market the product, Johnson mounts a small prototype of his door on the back of his Model T Ford and drives around the country signing up distributors.
When C.G. Johnson began his endeavor, Ford Motor Company was manufacturing over a million new cars for the first time, making the Midwest a focal point for garage door production.
The Original Garage Door Factory of the Overhead Door
The original factory in 1921 was a two-story, 1,000-sq.-ft. building in Detroit with a production capacity of one door per day. In 1924, the factory moved to Hartford City, Indiana, and built a new plant with 200,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space.