Mechanical gate opener comes full circle

Energy & Sustainability
Mechanical gate opener comes full circle
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Video and photo courtesy reader Michael Lubke.

EdenTXlocation.jpgLast year I wrote a series of posts about Alvin E. Gandy’s 1965 patent “Gandy Slide-A-Way” mechanical gate opener, which uses the weight of an approaching vehicle to automatically open and close a remote vehicle gate without electrical power. The story has apparently gotten back around to Mr. Gandy’s surviving family. His niece Annie just commented:

So, glad to see the Gandy gate online and on YouTube. My Uncle Alvin was very proud of his gate. He sold the patent to Sears and they sold them in their farm and ranch book. My dad’s family came from a long line of farmers, and they always told my Uncle Alvin he would do anything to keep from being the guy who had to always get out and open the gate…My grandfather came to Texas when he was nine right at the close of the Civil War with his mother and four brothers. Grandpa married and together they had 13 children and took in 3 other children that needed a home. So you can see a lot of going and coming in and out of a gate. Uncle Alvin got picked a lot to open those gates including the one there in Eden which was one of the family’s farms. Long story but the gate always worked and for years was a lot of them around all over Texas and some in New Mexico. Don’t know about other states. Thanks again for showing Uncle Alvin’s gate. All the family is gone now but know as they look down they are smiling at this.

Ya’ll pardon me while I have a Texas moment. (sniffle) [Thanks, Annie!]

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

View more articles by Sean Michael Ragan


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