History of Overhead Door Company ™ (Part Two)
Connected to Community
Johnson was heavily supported by the chambers of commerce in both Lewistown and Hartford City for his commitment to the community. In both cities, Johnson partnered with the community by selling stock in the factory and allowing the locals to be part of the success of Overhead Door Corporation.
According to Tom Wadsworth from DASMA, when the stock market crashed and the Great Depression hit in late 1929, Johnson kept Hartford City alive, and even added more factories despite the economic crisis. In 1930, the company then announced a “job-for-everyone” plan during the Christmas holidays. Employees were proud to belong, and the quality of work showed it. This is the legacy thousands of professionals have built the Red Ribbon on, showcasing that to be pioneers in an industry, you must have the best people.
History and Changes to Bring Steady Growth
Johnson served as the president of Overhead Door until 1935 when Forest McKee succeeded him. The business remained strong during the years of the Depression. Architects began designing homes with garages attached. This made garages as convenient as possible, allowing homeowners to access their vehicles without having to step out into the elements. After World War II, cars grew larger and larger, and many households began to own two vehicles. Garages grew to accommodate multiple larger vehicles – creating a greater need for garage doors.
Following the death of McKee in 1951, his brother Paul assumed the presidency. By 1956, the company expanded its expertise in making upward-acting sectional garage doors to trucks and trailers, forming TODCO.
By the 1960s, the garage represented about 45% of a home’s square footage and having a garage with an electric garage door opener was the norm. This made it more convenient and safer for homeowners. Overhead Door Corporation began to buy out the franchised operations that had served the company so well in the early years. It also remodeled existing facilities and opened new garage door manufacturing plants.
Wood Door No More
Over the next several decades, technological advancements allowed for the creation of new garage door styles and materials. Throughout most of the 20th century, garage doors were made of wood. The 1970's brought a shift in materials, making steel, aluminum, fiberglass, and other materials. These new garage door materials were a predecessor to the unmatched options home and business owners enjoy today, including composite materials with synthetic insulation. Aluminum and glass garage doors have also become popular with the owners of contemporary homes.
By the end of the century, steel garage doors dominated the industry, and homeowners were introduced to a new innovative combo offered by many manufacturers. The look of wood combined with the durability of steel became the next trend. As of today, the old, is once again, becoming new. The carriage house style has made a comeback with its barn-style garage doors and classic charm. Both styles are sought-after features for garage doors. Since 1921, garage doors have seen massive improvements and advancements. They are safer — thanks to photoelectric eyes and other sensors that stop the door from coming down if there is something underneath it. They are tougher because of materials like steel, aluminum, and composites. They offer more protection, thanks to insulation options, and have a much nicer look.
A lot has changed since we installed the first modern garage door in 1921. The transformation from converted carriage houses into the garages that we see today has a long history. Garages have gone through various eras and changes as society developed. People's needs have continued to be met through these modifications, such as storage for auto mechanic tools and many others. The technological and social trends over time have influenced the evolution of garages to the extent that they have now become an integral part of daily life.
One thing that hasn’t changed is our commitment to quality. We continue to hold ourselves to the highest standards when it comes to professionalism, product, and innovation. We didn’t just invent the sectional garage door; we’ve been leading the industry for the past 100 years. Millions have looked for us and trusted the red ribbon because of our unequal customer service and expertise.
Continual Focus on Innovation and Our People
Throughout the country, we have local family-owned businesses dedicated to supporting home and business owners. Each of these locations has a deeper knowledge of the area and develops relationships with each customer that walks through the door. Our employees live by the values that have made our company the leader it is today.
As pioneers in our industry, we continue to push the boundaries of innovation. The genuine forward-thinking is embedded in our DNA. We rethink the ordinary with a relentless focus on innovation, quality, and the marriage to technology and design. For the Overhead Door™ Brand, it’s not just about where we come from, it’s about where we are going. We are delivering strong performance, providing an outstanding portfolio of residential and commercial doors and openers, and we’re creating better, more innovative products that improve consumers’ lives for their homes and businesses every day. Over 100 years ago, the Overhead Door™ Brand continued improving the modern garage door we see today. C.G. Johnson built not just a company, but a global enterprise. He is -- “the father to the garage door industry”.
Overhead Door Corporation:
Honoring the same values and mission that have propelled it forward for the last century, the Overhead Door™ Brand continues to lead toward the future with a steadfast focus on cutting-edge innovation, high-performance construction, and world-class service.
Contact our team for your garage door service, repair, or replacement - we service the areas of Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Kenosha, Lafayette, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Rock, Sauk, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington, and Waukesha.
See more info and full article on the history of Overhead Door™ here.