Have you ever wondered, as you struggle to install a new set of window blinds, who came up with the idea of blinds in the first place? This is usually the internal conversation we have with ourselves when something is not working to plan, and we are looking for someone to blame. There must be a better way, we think as we balance precariously on a chair.
Is there nothing new Under the Sun?
Well, if it makes you feel any better, window blinds have been around for centuries, and so far, no-one has discovered anything more practical. Advancements are made in fixtures, fittings and materials, exciting new styles become available but apart from that, nothing much has changed.
Some Ancient Ways to Protect Windows
While we are not certain exactly when and where blinds first originated, we know from old parchments and wall frescos that Egypt, Persia or China are the most likely places. The ancient desert people used wet strips of cloth on their windows to keep out the elements. The Chinese in ancient times tied bamboo stalks together to make their window coverings.
The first time we have an approximate date is again in Persia in 1100 AD when what we now call Venetian blinds first appeared. They most likely made their way into Europe along the old Eastern trade routes, appearing first in Venice. That is why we still refer to this style of window blind as Venetian.
Vertical Blinds – An Early 1950s Appearance
These blinds spread throughout Europe, particularly in the 1700s, and soon became the norm in those households whose income allowed. It is interesting then to find out that vertical blinds, which are really the Venetian style hung around the other way, were only invented in the USA in the 1950s.
The Colosseum and Roman Blinds – Who Knew?
The construction of the Colosseum was said to be the catalyst for the invention of Roman blinds. It is believed that they were designed specifically to keep out the dust stirred up by this massive project. They spread throughout the Roman Empire, becoming more ornate and sophisticated as they did.
Thank the Scots for Roller Blinds
Roller blinds were not invented until the 1700s in Scotland. At first, they had no spring mechanism so when they were closed, the fabric fell to the window ledge where it remained until they were opened.
Benefits of Modern Technology
We are always interested in anything to do with blinds, even the history. Here at Blind Concepts we clean and refurbish all types of blinds, including those that originated in our distant past as well as any new styles that have been invented since. Regardless of what type of blinds you have in your windows, our modern technology will have them looking as good as new in twenty-four hours.