Many inventors over the long years of humanity’s history have singular claims to fame. Thomas Edison and his light bulb, Eli Whitney and his cotton gin, and the Wright Brothers and the airplane, to name a few standouts. These out-of-the-box thinkers and their marvelous devices completely altered the flow of human history with their incredible inventions, and humanity as a whole will always remember their names. Theophilus Van Kannel is not one of those inventors.
If you don’t recognize him, that’s not that strange. Theophilus Van Kannel invented the revolving door. Revolving doors are one of those things that, while they certainly have their place in human history, if they were to suddenly vanish from the timeline, it probably wouldn’t matter that much. Y’know, things like beanbag chairs or head massagers. Still, even if his invention wasn’t all that groundbreaking, it did come from a relatable place.
See, the Van Kannel’s biggest pet peeve in life was when you’d come up to a door at the same time as someone else and get into a staring match over who passes through first. It was a brief battle for gentlemanly superiority, and he was tired of it. So, to put an end to that, he invented a door that didn’t require holding. It was a cool idea, and it even had some net benefits, but in the end, most people still choose regular doors. But on the bright side, people are less finicky about holding doors these days, so I guess it all evened out in the end.