Everything you Need to Know About the History of Window Blinds
People have been using window blinds for centuries. The beginning of blinds can be traced all the way back to the ancient desert civilizations who used wet strips of cloth to cover their huts’ windows. This was their early version of air conditioning.
In the course of time, the ancient Egyptians picked up this practice and modified the technique to use reeds, a much more plentiful resource than cloth. They strung reeds together to form their blinds and then hung them over windows.
They could even be raised and lowered, like the way we use roller blinds today. These ancient blinds were used in homes and to shield the pharaoh from the sun’s harmful rays.
The ancient Chinese on the other hand chose to use bamboo, a much sturdier material. Just like the reeds, these were tied together to create their blinds. Even today, bamboo is still commonly used to make window blinds.
When Were Window Blinds Invented?
In 1100 and 1500 A.D., Venice merchants discovered a type of window covering in Persia similar to the Venetian styles that exist today. They brought this window treatment back to Venice, where they were produced by Persian slaves.
During the Middle Ages, these former Persian slaves migrated to France and started to produce Venetian blinds there. In France, these blinds refer to their Persian origin by calling them “les persiennes.” The Spanish people also do this by calling this type of blinds “las persianas.”
These early versions of the Venetian blinds were made of strips of cloth linked together by strings so they could be lowered and raised just like the Venetian blinds of the modern-day.
By 1750, Venetian blinds became very popular all over Europe, in cities like Paris to have such fancy window treatment is a luxury and a sign of high status. During that period, Venetian blinds were installed in St. Peter’s Church in Rome, and have even been captured by famous artists in numerous paintings.
In 1769, Edward Bevan, a British tradesman, was awarded the first patent for Venetian blinds. He discovered he could place wooden slats in a frame and manipulate the slats to let light into rooms. Then in 1841, John Hampson of New Orleans made adjustments to this invention, he added the ability to change the angle of their horizontal slats, paving the way for the blinds we know and love today.
The modernization of Venetian window blinds took place in the United States. It started when the colonists from Europe brought Venetian blinds with them. The Americans improved these window treatments to fit well with the structures they built, as well as the climate.
The invention of window blinds is still a mystery from the past. The true inventor of these popular window treatments is unknown.