This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V18", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
We have never seen a gate of this character that did not in time get out of order to an extent that caused an early abandonment. The idea of a self-opener is too good in a, gate to be wholly given up, and we are glad to note that among those who are working on it is our ingenious friend, Dr. Weed, of Des Moines, as we find by the following in an Iowa paper:"We visited the farm of Dr. James Weed, yesterday, and inspected his self-opening gate. It works like magic. As you approach in a buggy the gate suddenly parts in the middle (being-double) and the two parts turn over backwards, leaving the way clear to drive in, without slacking speed, even though your horse should be on the trot, and as you chive along, the gate as suddenly closes and latches as snugly as it was before you came to it. The principle on which this gate operates is difficult to describe on paper. All the machinery visible above ground is two pieces of rounded iron in the road, one on each side of the gate, about thirty feet from it. This must be run over by the buggy, its weight pressing the iron down and causing certain motor springs connecting with rods to throw the parts of the gate upward.
These parts are steadied by "tortion " springs, which counteract the weight of the gate, so that there is no slam or jar as it comes down to the ground. The return of the parts of the gate is caused on the same principle by'the buggy running over the other piece of rounded iron inside the enclosure. The machinery is so adjusted that the principle works precisely the same whether going in or out of the enclosure. It is not only a novelty, but a pleasure and convenience to ride along and, without moving hand or foot, have the gate open and close for you by some unseen power. Dr. Weed has been experimenting on these gates for several years, and his latest improvements are. substituting motor springs for gearing, and " tortion" springs for the former method of balancing the gates with stones of equal weight. He claims that it is now perfect in every particular, and not liable to get out of order in any kind of weather. He secured a patent last year. These gates are rather expensive - $200 - but what is that to a man who is able and willing to pay for the thing that suits him? We wish the Doctor success after his long years of patient study in perfecting his invention."