Window blinds have been around longer than you might think. For hundreds of years, people have been trying to protect themselves from the sun and increase privacy in their homes.
Here are six interesting facts you probably didn’t know about the origins and evolution of window blinds:
Window Coverings Date Back to Ancient Egypt
One of the earliest civilizations to use window coverings were ancient Egyptians. They would gather reeds, tie or weave them together, and hang them in windows.
Early Chinese civilizations were believed to have used bamboo for the same purpose.
Animal hides were used as well throughout the ages, sometimes even soaked in water first then hung in the windows in an effort to provide a cooling effect.
Venetian Blinds Were Not Invented by Venetians
Did Venetian blinds originate in Venice? No, even though it would be a fair guess based on the name. Window blinds came to Europe via Venetian merchants traveling from Persia, and that’s how they got their name. It’s also why some types are known as Persian blinds.
An American Inventor Created the Lift Mechanism
Venetian blinds first gained popularity in the United States when John Webster, a London trader, set up his upholstery shop in Philadelphia and started selling blinds. Since fabric was so expensive to import from England, Americans began to use wood to create Venetian blinds.
In 1841, John Hampson, an American inventor from New Orleans, patented the first lift mechanism. Finally, all the blinds’ slats could be adjusted and controlled at once.
Mass Production in the U.S. Began After World War II
Hunter Douglas began creating 2-inch aluminum slats for their Flexalum Venetian blinds in 1946, which led to a sharp spike in popularity in the United States. Hunter Douglas established a network of over 1,000 independent distributors within the United States. They would sell the product during the day and assemble them at night.
Window Coverings Were Synonymous with Wealth
You may think your window treatments add style and taste, but throughout history they were associated with great wealth. In medieval times, window adornments were a symbol of class. Having shades, drapes and shutters, or all of the above, indicated an elevated status within society.
Vertical Blinds Were Invented in Kansas City
Edward and Fredrick Bopp were the first to create vertical blinds. Just by pulling a cord, the slats, which were hung vertically, would shift to one side or separate in the middle. They founded the company Sun Vertical, and sold both their patent and the company in the 1960s.
Today, Utah Blinds Gallery offers a wide selection of products, styles and colors so you can find the ideal option for your home’s windows. Shop online or visit the showroom to see all the window blinds Utah Blinds Gallery has available.