SDC Founder Art Geringer Passes
September 8, 2016
Electronic Security and Door Hardware legend and founder of Security Door Controls (SDC) Arthur V. Geringer passed on September 5, 2016 at age 93.
Reporting on Geringer’s death, SDC described him as a door hardware innovator who pioneered the design and practical application of electricity to door openings for security and fire and life safety. The company reported Geringer was an inventor of numerous electronic lock designs and is credited with ushering in the modern era of access control hardware with his development of the 90-deg. throw electric lock.
Geringer received his certification as an Architectural Hardware Consultant in 1952; was the recipient of the Door and Hardware Institute’s highest honor, the Founders’ Award; and the second highest honor, the Distinguished Consultant award (D.A.H.C). He was actively involved in the door hardware business for more than 60 years. He continued to participate in and contribute to the profession until his passing, designing and developing new and innovative access and egress control products for Security Door Controls, the company he founded in 1972.
Geringer grew up in his father’s architectural hardware business in Chicago, SDC reported. A World War II Army veteran, Geringer started in the 22nd Division of Combat Engineers. Returning to civilian life in 1945, he settled in California where he was employed at a major Los Angeles contract hardware firm. Geringer eventually moved to an automatic door firm before venturing out on his own to start SDC.
Ideas for his designs came from his ability to think outside of the box, according to SDC. He developed at least two patent design ideas that were sparked by toys. One toy that he recalled from his childhood used repelling magnets to move skating figures around an ice rink. This led to the invention of the first dual fail-safe, electromechanical lock to be approved by fire marshals for locking perimeter doors. Creation of a second product was also inspired by the toy. It was the first lock to be approved for access control of stairwell doors. Another toy, a miniature train with a battery powered sound chip that made the engine noise and train whistle, also stimulated his imagination and became the catalyst for the invention of the first and only delayed egress lock that integrated a human voice stored on a chip into a lock that notified shoplifters or wandering patients why the door would not open, when the door would open, and that security was on the way.
As an inventor and award winning author for industry periodicals, Geringer was a member of the Door and Hardware Institute, the Builders’ Hardware Club of Southern California, Security Industry Association, Associated Locksmiths of America, the Construction Specification Institute, and sat on the Standards Board of the Builders’ Hardware Manufacturers’ Association.
In addition to the reputation he developed in the industry, Geringer was most proud of his accomplishments as a considerate son, loving husband and supportive father. He is survived by two sons, a daughter and fifteen grandchildren & great grandchildren. A son, daughter and grandson oversee the daily operations of SDC today.
Art’s beloved wife, Mae, battled Alzheimer disease for many years. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, you please consider a gift in Art’s name to the Alzheimer’s Association on behalf of Mae at www.ALZ.org .
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