When you’re choosing window blinds in Menlo Park, CA, it might be interesting to consider how the window blinds you’re looking at came to be. You may be unaware that window blinds have been around almost as long as houses have been around.
The very first window blinds bear little resemblance to modern window blinds, because they were constructed differently and were made using the materials that were readily available in the parts of the world where they were first made.
However, the purpose of these original window blinds is the same purpose they have today: to help provide privacy, provide ventilation, and to provide light control.
Venetian window blinds are one of the most widely-recognized kind of window blinds. However, it may surprise you to find out Venetian window blinds were not native to the city of Venice.
Historians have found abundant evidence that Venetian window blinds originated in Persia. It was not until seafaring explorers discovered new shipping routes from the Middle East to Europe that Venetian blinds became a Persian export. The first Venetian blinds appeared in Venice somewhere between 1100 and 1500 A.D.
However, window blinds were in existence long before Venetian window blinds were designed, made, and eventually exported. There is abundant evidence that the ancient Egyptians were the first manufacturers of window blinds.
The Egyptians used river reeds to make their window blinds. They also used the hides of animals as window blinds as well. Perhaps in the earliest nod to air conditioning, ancient Egyptians discovered that when animal hides were dipped in water and hung in windows, their houses were cooler.
The earliest European window blinds were made from marble. Archeologists have discovered that homes throughout Pompeii, which was obliterated by an unparalleled eruption of Mount Etna in 79 AD, had marble window blinds.
In time, the marble window blinds were replaced by wooden window blinds.
Wooden window blinds were constructed, mechanically, much the same way the marble window blinds had been. Their slats were stationary (like exterior window shutters today), but they provided privacy, ventilation, and light control. In time, wooden window blinds were constructed with a tilt mechanism that allowed the slats to be moved up or down.
The materials that were once used in making window blinds have graduated dramatically from the reeds and animal hides of Egypt and the marble in Italy. Today, window blinds can be manufactured from wood, composite materials, and metal.
Woodgrain colors can be applied to window blinds that are made of materials other than wood. This gives homeowners who live in climates where humidity is high or who have rooms in their homes where humidity is high (bathrooms and laundry rooms, for example. the best of both worlds.
They get window blinds that look like wood, but that doesn’t have the moisture-absorbing quality of wood (which can cause warping and damage to the window blinds).
Most early homes were poorly insulated and the earliest window blinds didn’t help much with that problem. However, modern window blinds can be very energy-efficient, offering excellent insulation in both the winter and summer.
Early window blinds offered some ventilation. However, the slats were stationary, so there was no control over the amount of ventilation the window blinds provided. With today’s window blinds, you have a full array of ventilation options to adjust to your personal preferences.