We all seem to have one, they’re the norm for most. I’m talking about garages. They’ve become a staple addition to new homes, and an additional build feature on older homes. So where did it all begin? When did we become so reliant on these excellent storage places, ‘man caves’ or of course, the traditional use, car stores.
So, if we go right back to the beginning, the garage was not a place for one’s car to be protected at night. In fact, many people couldn’t afford cars at this time, the first type of garage were converted carriage houses which were once used to store horses and carriages. In the 1920’s, we saw the birth of the garage as we know it today, as cars had started to properly take off in 1916, it was deemed appropriate to have a place to store these new automotive vehicles.
It was around this time that homeowners began to design their homes with garages in minds as opposed to the traditional construction of an outbuilding. Garage doors were also becoming a design feature, as people were becoming more conscious of security of their cars. In 1921, the overhead door was developed by C G Johnson, and later in 1926 he’d invented the automatic garage door.
After World War 2, prosperity began to rise and the 1940’s and 50’s saw more families have a garage built. Particularly in 1941, as garages attached to houses with the actual entry to the house were becoming a modern design feature. A little later in the 1960’s was when people started to transform their garage to additional space in their homes.
The garage was commonly becoming a workspace for carpentry and mechanics. As well as storing the car, the other main function of the garage around this time was to store non-perishables.
Although developed in the mid 1920’s, automatic garage doors didn’t become a popular feature to the garage we know today until early 1970, when people saw the real use for them. This was when the garage finally became instilled as a significant requirement to homeowners. By this time, the largest majority of the population were car drivers, their price had lowered since their mass production in the 1920’s which meant that the impact on the garage was changing.
Nowadays, the garage has become much more than its original function. Most first time buyers consider a garage a requirement when looking for a home, even flats are now being built with garages included! What this has come to show us, is that as a nation, we don’t realise the impact of this outbuilding and the long way it has come since its original design.
We’re seeing more and more different styles of garages appear – from double garages, concrete garages to garages with annexes built on the top. These modern counterparts are becoming much more functional than to simply store cars, in fact, it’d probably be fair to say that car storage is less common now, as people are finding much more innovative uses for their garage.