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.
Great Yarmouth, often called Yarmouth, is a seaside resort and minster town in Norfolk, England, straddling the River Yare, some 20 miles (30 km) east of Norwich. A population of 38,693 in the 2011 Census made it Norfolk's third most populous place. Its fishing industry, mainly for herring, fell steeply after the mid-20th century and has all but vanished. North Sea oil from the 1960s brought an oil-rig supply industry that now services offshore natural gas rigs. More recent offshore wind power and other renewable energy have created further support services. Yarmouth has been a seaside resort since 1760 and a gateway from the Norfolk Broads to the North Sea. Tourism was boosted when a railway opened in 1844, which gave visitors easier, cheaper access and triggered some settlement. Wellington Pier opened in 1854 and Britannia Pier in 1858. Through the 20th century, Yarmouth was a booming resort, with a promenade, pubs, trams, fish-and-chip shops and theatres, and the Pleasure Beach, the Sea Life Centre, the Hippodrome Circus and the Time and Tide Museum, and a surviving Victorian seaside Winter Garden in cast iron and glass.