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.
The Metropolitan Borough of Walsall is a metropolitan borough in the West Midlands, England. It is named after its largest settlement, Walsall, but covers a larger area which also includes Aldridge, Bloxwich, Brownhills, Darlaston, Pelsall and Willenhall. It also serves as the post town for nearby Cannock Chase District and Lichfield District respectively.
The borough had an estimated population of 254,500 in 2007.
The current boundaries were set as part of the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972, with a change to the north of the borough in 1994. It is bounded on the west by the City of Wolverhampton, the south by the Metropolitan Borough of Sandwell, to the south east by the City of Birmingham, and by the Staffordshire districts of Lichfield, Cannock Chase and South Staffordshire to the east, north and northwest respectively. Most of the borough is highly industrialised and densely populated, but areas around the north and east of the borough are open space.
In 1986 the borough became an effective unitary authority when the West Midlands County Council was abolished. However it remains part of the West Midlands for ceremonial purposes, and for functions such as policing, fire and public transport.