The Real Reason the Revolving Door Was Invented

If you make a point of minding your manners, revolving doors are a terror. Should a man go in first, does the “ladies first” rule still hold true in the age of women’s movements? It’s no accident that this question comes up when you approach a revolving door because the doors were actually invented to inspire this moment of decision. According to etiquette experts, it’s proper for a man to open doors for a woman, but in the case of revolving doors, this rule of chivalry does a 180. Men should go first through revolving doors to assist the woman through the revolving door. Apparently, this relieves the woman of the effort of pushing the door open. While chivalry isn’t totally dead, it’s been updated for modern times. This polite gesture would, however, crush the feelings of the revolving door’s inventor, Theophilus Van Kannel. He so disliked the social convention of men opening doors for women that he invented the revolving door in an attempt to sidestep the issue. Thankfully, Van Kannel’s invention had a purpose beyond relieving his anxieties. Revolving doors contribute to keeping a building energy efficient by regulating its temperature and air pressure. When revolving doors replace swing doors, they can save up to 30% in energy costs.