Automatic Doors Were Invented In Ancient Times
Hero of Alexandria's automatic door design relied on pneumatics to work. First, a fire was lit on an altar near the door. The fire was connected to a hidden contraption below, which, under the influence of heat and pressure, would force water into counterweights that caused the doors to swing open. Once the fire died down, the water would exit the counterweights and the doors would close.
Key Facts In This Video
Ancient Egyptians introduced the process of nasal reconstruction, which was often performed on thieves whose noses had been cut off. (1:07)
Hero of Alexandria designed an automatic door for temples in the first century AD. (3:35)
In 212 BC, the Greek physicist Archimedes allegedly set ships aflame by using polished copper to reflect sunlight onto them. (6:09)