Louvered wood blinds had their start in the mid to late 15th century in Europe. But it was in America, were the wood blind caught on as the colonists looked for ways to avoid the high taxes placed on drapery fabrics imported from England.
Wood blinds really started in ancient Egypt, where Pharaohs had blinds made of reeds, and in China, where they were made of bamboo. Some claim they were invented in Persia, brought to Venice, and from there to the world.
In one story, Thomas Jefferson was said to want wood blinds on each window in each house he owned. He was so impressed with them that he listed them in his will to be dispersed to beneficiaries. Jefferson was not alone; blinds were a very common feature in Colonial homes, and they were the window covering staple of the early American home.
As an interesting side note to history, the first wood blind ad was published by a man that Betsy Ross worked for. In fact, in all three of Betsy Ross's marriages - the men sold venetian blinds and Betsy worked in their shops. In addition to sewing the 1st American flag, Betsy may have made some of the 1st wood blinds. Both are still going strong today.
Today, wood blinds are available in a variety of colors and styles. From bamboo, to basswood, to premium hardwoods, to faux options, like vinyl, they are still one of the most popular window treatments available. Wonderfully versatile, affordable, simple, and sophisticated, wood blinds offer tremendous value – and a little bit of history right in your windows.
We would love to help you with your wood or faux wood blind project. Please check out our online cost calculator for a quick idea of what your project may cost.