The invention of door closers could be blamed on an Episcopal bishop in Boston in 1880, according to the LCN Closers website. Because the Bishop of Trinity Church was tired of the way the door slammed whenever the wind caught it, he hired Lewis C. Norton to fix the annoyance. Mr. Norton installed a rubber stop on the header to make the door swing one way, but the Bishop was annoyed by the sound of the door hitting the rubber stop. So Norton came up with a solution: a tube and a plunger with vents that allowed air to escape and the door to close quietly. The solution worked and in 1881 Norton created the first door closer company. While the design of door closers have their roots in Norton's design, there is more than one type of door closer that is designed for various applications.
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Manual Door Closer
This is one of the more basic designs for door closers. With this door closer, you open the door manually, but the door closer closes the door for you in a controlled manner. The damper in a manual door closer is filled with oil.
An automatic door opener opens and closes the door for you thanks to the touch of a button, a motion sensor, or another device. Even if the door has a push button to open it, a sensor in the door closer will only allow the door to close when a person walks a certain distance from the door's swing.
A surface mounted closer refers to the fact that this closer is mounted on the outside of the door. The best way to mount these doors is to have the closer mounted on the side of the door which faces a room rather than a hallway. When the door opens, the door closer will be hidden from sight behind the door.
Concealed Door Closer
Concealed door closers are mounted inside of the door's header. With these closers, they have the advantage of being protected from dust, yet are easy to access should they need to be adjusted.