Whether you’re entering or leaving a building, you’ll need to pass through a door. These structures are made from various materials such as wood, steel, or glass, but they serve a common purpose, to let people in or keep others out.
Doors might be common, but aren’t you curious about who invented them? Learn where the first door was made, the person behind its invention, or what purpose the first door served in this post.
Who invented the door?
Egyptians from central Egypt are credited for the invention of the first door. They use doors as decorations in their tombs and depict the entrance of the dead to the afterlife.
The door key contributors
- Ancient EgyptiansPeople who first invented doors
The ancient Egyptians, particularly those from central Egypt, are credited for the invention of doors. Archaeologists found the first door ever recorded in history 4000 years ago in Egyptian tomb paintings. A false door was just a wall decoration used in ancient Egyptian architecture that mimicked a window. This decoration was typically found in tombs as it represents the entrance to the afterlife.
- Ancient Romans and GreeksThey produced double and sliding doors
In 79 AD, ancient Rome and Greece people also contributed to producing the first doors. The ruins from Pompeii and Herculaneum in ancient Rome show that double and sliding doors are customary in temples.
- HeronThe inventor of the first automatic door
Heron is a mathematician who invented the very first automatic door. This door is said to be the first automatic door from Alexandria, Greece.
- Chinese people during Emperor Yang of Sui’s eraThey produced the first foot-activated doors
The Chinese people were credited for producing the first activated doors during Emperor Yang of Sui’s era.
- Al-JazariThe person who made the first automated gate
Al-Jazari, an Arab Muslim scholar, innovator, and mechanical engineer invented the first automated gate in 1206.
When was the door invented?
4,000 years ago, the first door was seen in Egyptian tomb paintings. They imitate windows and represent the dead’s entrance to the afterlife.
A brief history of the door
The existence of doors is credited to Egyptians, particularly those living in central Egypt. The first door ever recorded in history was found 4000 years ago, around 2,000 BC, in Egyptian tomb paintings. A false door was just a wall decoration used in ancient Egyptian architecture that mimicked a window. This decoration was typically found in tombs as it represented the entrance to the afterlife.
In 79 AD, the people of ancient Rome and Greece also contributed to producing the first doors. The ruins from Pompeii and Herculaneum in ancient Rome show that double and sliding doors are customary in temples. Janus Geminus is an excellent example of this. It is a famous Rome door that stood for the Roman deity Janus as a temple. This door is a simple rectangular bronze structure with twin doors on each side. These doors only opened during wartime and closed during peacetime.
Past forward in the 1st century, the very first automatic door was invented by Heron, a mathematician. The said first automatic door originated from Alexandria, Greece. It was in the 5th century when foot-activated doors were first produced in China during the Emperor Yang of Sui’s era.
Al-Jazari, an Arab innovator, later invented the first automated gate in 1206. Then in the 12th to 15th centuries, carved wood and ornate panel doors adorned the best structures.
“The Symbol at Your Door” was famous during the medieval period, especially in the 12th and 13th centuries. Different seals can represent prominence, reputation, wealth, and position. Copper and bronze were frequently used in medieval building works, but sturdy wood served as the most widely known foundation material for doors. These doors have been made from whichever materials were readily available in the area.
The door timeline
- 2,000 BCFirst ever recorded history of doors was found
The first door ever recorded in history was found 4000 years ago, around 2,000 BC, in Egyptian tomb paintings. The existence of doors is credited to Egyptians, particularly those living in central Egypt. A false door was a wall decoration used in ancient Egyptian architecture that mimicked a window. This decoration was typically found in tombs as it represented the entrance to the afterlife.
- 79 AD.Double and sliding doors became prevalent
In 79 AD, the people of ancient Rome and Greece also contributed to producing the first doors. The ruins from Pompeii and Herculaneum in ancient Rome show that double and sliding doors are customary in temples.
- 1st centuryFirst automatic door was invented
In the 1st century, Heron, a mathematician, invented the first automatic door. This door is said to be the first automatic door from Alexandria, Greece.
- 5th centuryFirst foot activated doors are produced
It was in the 5th century when foot-activated doors were first produced in China during the Emperor Yang of Sui’s era.
- 1206First automated gate was made
Al-Jazari, an Arab innovator, later invented the first automated gate in 1206.
Where was the door invented?
The door is said to be invented in central Egypt. The first ever recorded existence of doors was found in Egyptian tomb paintings, imitating a window to represent the entrance to the hereafter.
Why is the door important?
- Privacy and safety
Doors are essential in every building as their primary function is to keep the safety and privacy of the people inside once it is closed.
- Controls physical atmosphere
Doors help to control the physical atmosphere inside a room by enclosing it, allowing interiors to be cooled or heated more effectively.
- Noise barrier
Doors can also function as a noise barrier if there is excessive noise from the outside.
- Selective entrance
Doors usually feature locking mechanisms only to allow selected people to enter, keeping others who are unauthorized out.
The door by the numbers
- 1881The revolving door was invented in Germany in 1881 AD.
- 1909An American chemist invented the first ever synthetic plastic or polymer for doors in 1909 AD.
- 456 The tallest doors are 456 feet tall, 150 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty! These doors reportedly require 45 minutes to fully open or close. They are used at NASA’s Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center.
- 5,000 Archaeologists find the oldest door (5,000 years old) in Europe in the town hall in Zurich City. It is five centuries old and measured 88cm wide and 153cm high.
- 1,514You can find 1,514 doors in London’s royal residence, Buckingham Palace.
- 15 Revolving doors in New York should only have 15 maximum rotations per minute. A door that rotates faster than that is prohibited.
- 19In the mid-19th century, archaeologists discovered the oldest known locking mechanisms for doors at the Palace of Khorsabad in modern-day Iraq.
- 17In the 17th century, French doors were used as windows, not doors.
- 28 In 1330, Andrea Pisano made a door with 28 stunning panels made of bronze to portray the life of St. John.
Five facts about the door
- There’s an unopened temple door in India
The Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Kerala, India, has an unopened door encased by holy mystery. According to legend, this door can be opened only by precisely chanting the Garuda Mantra. The sealed doorway is guarded by two stone cobras, with no visible bolts or latches.It is believed that an apocalyptic disaster would be unleashed in India and the rest of the world if the door is opened using anything other than the proper sound of the chant.
- A house in California has false doors that lead to nowhere
The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California is renowned for its false doors. This building has numerous doors that ultimately lead to nowhere!
- The color of Irish doors has a meaning
In Ireland, there are lots of colorful doors. When Queen Victoria passed away, the Irish colored their doors black to signify they were all mourning. However, many also painted their doors in different colors to express their disapproval.
- January is named after Janus, the ancient Roman god of doors
January was named after Janus, the ancient Roman god of doorways. He was the deity of doors, transitions, endings, and gates.
- The world’s most miniature door is found in a 20 micrometers house
The microhouse, created by French scientists, houses the tiniest door in the world. Even though the house is only 20 micrometers across, it has a front door, windows, and a tiled roof, among other astoundingly realistic details.
The door invention FAQs
- Which door is the strongest?
The strongest is the steel door when it comes to durability and security. They are more durable than fiberglass or wooden doors and won’t warp or crack.
- Are front doors important?
Yes. It’s because front doors are essential in making a home feel inviting. It also helps to keep unwanted people out.
- What holds a door in place?
The hinge pin keeps the door in place. This pin is made of metal and is mounted into the hinge.