An automatic door, also known as an auto door, is a door that opens automatically, usually on sensing the approach of a person.
In the 1st century AD, mathematician Heron of Alexandria in Roman Egypt invented the first known automatic door. He described two different automatic door applications. The first application used heat from a fire lit by the city's temple priest. After a few hours atmospheric pressure built up in a brass vessel causing it to pump water into adjacent containers. These containers acted as weights that – through a series of ropes and pulleys – would open the temple's doors at about the time people were to arrive for prayer. Heron used a similar application to open the gates to the city.
In 1931, engineers Horace H. Raymond and Sheldon S. Roby of the tool and hardware manufacturer Stanley Works designed the first model of an optical device triggering the opening of an automatic door. The invention was patented and installed in Wilcox's Pier Restaurant in West Haven, Connecticut for the benefit of waiters carrying plates of food and drink. The entire system plus installation was sold for $100.
In 1954, Dee Horton and Lew Hewitt invented the first sliding automatic door. The automatic door used a mat actuator. In 1960, they co-founded Horton Automatics Inc and placed the first commercial automatic sliding door on the market.
Fakenham is a market town and civil parish in Norfolk, England. It is situated on the River Wensum, about 25 miles (40 kilometres) north west of Norwich. The town is the junction of several local roads, including the A148 from King's Lynn to Cromer, the A1067 to Norwich and the A1065 to Swaffham.
The civil parish has an area of 3.49 sq mi (9.0 km2) and in the 2001 census had a population of 7,357 in 3,292 households, the population increasing to 7,617 at the 2011 census. For the purposes of local government, the parish falls within the district of North Norfolk.
Fakenham has been a market town since 1250, particularly known for its corn, barley and wheat trading, and in the 19th century it became noted for its printing. Fakenham Racecourse is a thoroughbred horse racing venue to the south of Fakenham, of which Charles, Prince of Wales is patron.
The town has a long name of Fakenham Lancaster which derives from the ownership of the manor in 1377 being transferred to John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster. The name continues to be used today, including on recently placed history trail plaques around the town, and also the two wards that cover the town, for the purpose of electing councillors to North Norfolk District Council, are called Lancaster North and Lancaster South.