An MIT staff member writes, "Essentially everyone associated with MIT has passed through the automatic doors at the Mass Ave entrance to Building 7. However, most people do not know that these automatic doors were some of the first in the country. Automatically-opening doors were the invention (U.S. Patent # 1,978,093 in 1934) of Horace H. Raymond of Berlin, CT, who envisioned the user breaking a light-beam to signal his/her approach and trigger a mechanism that would open the door. While the Building 7 doors are presently activated by foot-pads, curious users will have noticed small glass disks mounted on the posts in front of the doors. These are the "magic eyes" of Raymond's invention. Behind the glass disks the posts housed the light-source and detector "magic eyes" used in the original system.
"Automatic doors are now ubiquitous throughout the world. While Raymond installed the prototype in a Connecticut restaurant to facilitate passage to and from the kitchen by waiters with their hands full, MIT was far-seeing enough to realize the doors’ benefits and install them at the main entrance sometime in the 1930s or 40s. Two of Raymond's sons are MIT grads (Samuel O. Raymond '50 and George B. Raymond '55)."