Doors in Ancient Times

Throughout history, people have been locking themselves in and others out. It’s a fundamental human need to seek safety, security and privacy, especially in the space we call home.

Primal man sheltered in caves and built rudimentary structures for safety and warmth. Our ancestors secured these dwellings as a matter of survival. The best way of protecting a dwelling is a door, which allows entry and exit to be controlled.

The first records of doors go back 4500 years. The Ancient Egyptians built doors on pyramids and tombs, which they regarded as portals to the afterlife.

The ancient Greeks and Romans carved sliding doors out of stone, and as metal work progressed, they began using copper, bronze and even gold to adorn them. The main doors on the Parthenon in Greece have two panels framed in bronze.

Doors in The Middle Ages

The years 500 to 1500 AD saw unprecedented advancements in the design and manufacture of doors. In this period, you’ll find doors made entirely of bronze, the introduction of iron hinges, and the first metal locks with keys.

Doors were now far removed from their simple, practical beginnings. They began to embody the power and prestige of the countries, institutions and families they were being made for. The best architects and artists of the era were transforming wealthy patrons' doors into masterpieces.

China saw the first-ever foot-activated main door installed at Emperor Yang’s royal library around 600 AD. The Florence Bapistary’s doors are entirely bronze, including the hinges. The ones of Notre Dame in Paris are strengthened by iron bands and have beautiful metal adornments.

Doors in The 20th Century

The 20th Century saw an unprecedented acceleration in the rate of invention, especially in engineering. Materials like steel and aluminium could now be produced cost-effectively. This innovation and mass production would have a profound impact on the production of doors and metal gates.

Steel, with its strength and versatility, made it a perfect material for doors and metal gates. Doors were now more robust, fireproof and could be set in steel frames, making their locks more effective. Aluminium, light and durable, led to the advent of sliding doors for storefronts in the 1930s.

The first sliding automatic doors were invented in 1954 by Dee Horton and Len Hewitt. Revolving doors and those amusing scenes of people rushing to squeeze themselves between the panels were becoming a thing of the past. Automation technology is now the norm on metal gates, front gates and garages.

The Present: The Rise of Digital Door Locks

Digital technology is changing the face of doors, gates and locks completely. You can see who is at your front door on your phone with a door viewer; you can use a card instead of a key and open your front gate by pressing your finger on a fingerprint digital lock.

Singapore is at the forefront of digital lock innovation. Singapore is a high-density city with numerous high rise buildings and apartments. Most HDB units will also have metal gates for extra security. When you go home in the evening, you probably have to go through two doors, which means a minimum of two keys for two locks. Fingerprint digital locks as well as fingerprint digital gate locks, are a convenient way of securing your home.

HDB doors are manufactured to the correct specifications to fit any HDB unit in Singapore. At AN Digital Lock, you will be able to find a variety of HDB doors designed in the latest modern designs and materials. If you need help selecting a door for your HDB unit, feel free to reach out to us for help! You can also pay us a visit at our showrooms in Paya Lebar, Sembawang and Boon Lay to check out our products in person.

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