In 1936, The Mariners’ Museum became high-tech with the installation of automatic doors in the main entrance. These were the first automatic doors in the area, and it is reported that people would come to the museum just to check them out and “play” with them by going in and out.
Everyone was so excited about these doors that they had to describe how exactly they worked in the Daily Press on January 12, 1936. It is as follows:
“Incorporated into the new section are a pair of automatically opening doors, also of bronze. The outer doors give on a small foyer. Inner doors swing between the vestibule and the museum proper.
As the visitor approaches the inner door, he is likely to reach out his hand to push it open ahead of him-though he may be struck by the fact that its surface is unbroken by know or handle.
Before he can touch the door, however, it swings inward without being pushed.
The secret lies in ‘electric eyes’ – probably the only such arrangement in this vicinity, and a comparatively new departure in architecture.”
Although no longer installed and functional, we still have these doors as they are an important part of the museum’s history.
This kind of thing really gives one perspective on the advancement of technology through the years and just how far we’ve come.