The history of window blinds in Los Altos, CA is a long and fascinating one. When you look at all the new technologies and advancements that make homes modern, you may not think about window blinds at all. However, even window blinds have evolved dramatically since they first appeared on the scene.
Window blinds have been part of home décor for centuries. Window blinds serve many practical purposes, but they also are used to accentuate the overall look of a home.
The ancient Egyptians are credited with developing the first window blinds. Because of the extreme heat and frequent violent sand storms that are associated with living in a desert, the Egyptians needed a way to keep their dwellings cool and to keep avalanches of sand outside. They found that they could construction covers for the openings in their homes by wetting cloth strips and putting them across their windows.
During this same period, the Chinese began to cover their windows using bamboo stalks that were tied together to form a finished piece that was long enough to provide privacy, protection from the elements, and light control.
As the Roman Empire developed, their citizens also needed ways to cover their windows. Unlike the Grecians, who used marble with fixed slats to cover their windows, the Romans developed a window blind made out of fabric slats that overlapped each other. Easy to make and install and providing privacy, insulation, and light filtering, these became known as Venetian window blinds (they first appeared in Venice, Italy).
Venetian window blinds took the rest of Europe by storm after Dwarf Venetian window blinds were invented. After Venetian window blinds were installed in St. Peter’s Church in Rome, Venetian window blinds became the standard window treatment that was used throughout the European continent.
The modernization of Venetian window blinds took place in America. Colonists brought Europe with them and then they started improving it to fit the structures they built and the different climates the New World had.
The first modern version of Venetian window blinds in America was developed by John Webster in Philadelphia. The wand that allows the slats of window blinds to be moved up and down was invented at nearly the same time in New Orleans by John Hampson. This made windows blinds much more functional because they could be opened to allow natural light in and for ventilation, and closed for privacy and room darkening.
These kinds of window blinds were used throughout the country as it expanded west to the Pacific Ocean. The Industrial Revolution brought mass production and made it easier – and cheaper – to make window blinds.
However, it was not until the early 1940’s that aluminum window blinds began to be mass produced, make them one of the more popular window treatments in the United States.
However, the innovation with window blinds did not stop there. As Americans came home from war and reaped the benefits of a robust economy, more styles and colors of window blinds began to be available. Vertical window blinds were created by Frederick and Eric Bopp. They became a popular choice for homes with large windows and sliding glass doors, as well as for office building windows.
When Joe Hunter and Henry Sonnerberg founded Hunter Douglas in the United States in 1946, the functionality, styles, and colors of window blinds, along with other window treatments, were expanded with new designs and new technologies applied to them. That innovation continues today.
If you’d like to learn more about window blinds in Los Altos, CA, you can speak with our knowledgeable team at Windows & Beyond, Inc. You can visit our showroom at 4020 Fabian Way, Palo Alto, CA 94303, or you can contact us at (650) 938-8822 for a free in-home estimate.