It would seem that something as trivial as a garage door opener would never find its way to these pages but often it is the trivial that gives a glimpse into who a person really was.
This seemingly Rube Goldberg approach to automatically opening a garage door is a testament to the cleverness that was Dennis R. Hoyer. I have no idea when this was constructed but given that they date back to 1926 my guess is going to Sears was not an acceptable option for Dennis.
The key to the operation is the drive mechanism and when I first looked at it I simply thought motor pulled the door open and the casters and gravity did the trick to lower the door with the motor providing some resistive force. Upon further inspection I realized something different was going on since the casters were pointed in the wrong direction.