The History of Blinds

People all over the world use blinds to protect themselves from the suns harsh rays. But when you close your blinds, you’re actually using a centuries old piece of technology. Though no one really knows for sure, blinds are believed to have started in ancient Egypt, serving more as a functional device than an interior fashion statement, helping to air out buildings while still offering plenty in terms of privacy and sunlight.

The most common blinds used today are known as venetian blinds. Originally invented in Persia, traders took the technology back with them to Venice and named it after the city, though in France they are still known as “Les Persienes” in honor of their original inventors.

It is believed that freed slaves were the first to bring venetian blinds to the rest of Europe, where they eventually took off as the most popular form of window treatment around. By 1761, St. Peter’s Church in Philadelphia had installed venetian blinds on its windows. In 1769, Edward Bevan patented the first venetian blind in London.

It was not until 1767 that blinds became big in the United States, as John Webster became the first to advertise his wares across the colonies. Paintings from the time clearly depict venetian blinds in Independence Hall at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, showing just how popular they had already become. Venetian blinds were especially prevalent in the homes of wealthy Americans, as well as many public and government buildings. By the turn of the 20th century, venetian blinds had become so popular that they were installed in massive skyscrapers like the Rockefeller Center Radio City Building and the Empire State Building.

Over the years, as blinds became more popular, the technology behind them continued to develop. In 1841, John Hampton invented a way to control the angle of venetian blind slats, allowing people to control how much light passes through. Then people started to develop new styles and designs. In 1950, Edward and Frederick Bopp invented vertical blinds that hang from a track, allowing even more control on how much light can pass through. In 1970, 1” aluminum “Mini-Blinds” were all the rage, and in 1980 wide-slatted wooden blinds became the hot new trend.

1946 was also a big year in blind history, because that’s when Henry Sonnerberg and Joe Hunter formed Hunter Douglas and began producing and selling their own brand of venetian blinds. The business took off in 1947, reaching over a thousand fabricators across North America. From there the company grew, to the point they are at today, offering horizontal and vertical blinds, honeycomb and roller and roman shades, woven woods, and shutters. And with the dawn of the 21st century, the developments just kept on rolling in, coming up with motorized and solar powered blinds.

No matter what kind of blinds you are looking for, Hunter Douglas has the right model for you and you can find it at Custom Window Décor of Jupiter, the best blinds in Jupiter, Florida.