Opening your garage door with just the push of a button...something we've been doing for years. The idea was first developed in the 1920's by Howard Colman, a local inventor and entrepreneur. Midway Village Curator of Education Mark Herman says, "He wanted a way to open the garage door without getting out of his car. He loved fancy cars and his passion was automobiles." Known as the Thomas Edison of the
"He rigged it to his car where he put an antenna underneath the frame and he had a button on his dashboard and he would push the button and the button would go into his battery and the battery would activate a signal and the signal would come out and it would open the garage door."
Even though he invented the prototype in 19-28, it wasn't until years later it became commercially available.
Tragically, in 1942 Colman was killed in a car accident. He had more than 140 patents.
The Barber-Colman company started as a producer of textile manufacturing equipment and diversified to produce items like electric fans and of course the early automatic garage door openers.