History of Venetian Blinds

Did you know that Venetian blinds actually originate from Persia and not Venice in Italy? Or the fact that their history can be traced all the way back to ancient Egypt? No matter what their birthplace has been, one thing is for sure and that is, venetian blinds have made a special place in our hearts, which is the reason why we have been using it as our window treatments for the past three centuries.

In recent years, the design has undergone a lot of changes, but the adjustable horizontal slats have remained unchanged throughout. Let’s have a look at the history of these Venetian blinds.

History of Origin

The origin of the Venetian blinds date all the way back to ancient Egypt, who were known to tie reeds together and then use it as a window covering. Experts claim that the first Venetian blinds were seen in 1760, and at that time, they were made from wooden slates that were hung with the help of cloth ribbons.

Early History

It is said that the Venetian blinds were brought to Europe via Persia through trade. The blinds were appreciated by the masses and made their way into France, with the help of freed Venetian slaves because they wanted to earn a livelihood for themselves. The French referred to these blinds as “Les Persienes”. These blinds then made their way into the US, as a result of the efforts of John Webster of London in 1787.


The Venetian blinds had become extremely popular in the US in the 1930s. Venetian blinds quickly gained popularity in homes as well as public buildings. St. Peter’s Church in Philadelphia, Independence Hall, and the RCA Building (the GE Building of today) in New York City started using these blinds as their window treatments. It is said that the venetian blinds became popular because of the following reasons:

  • They were durable
  • They were easy to operate
  • They were cheaper than the rest of the options

In 1936, it was estimated that people bought $210 million worth of shades, made of different materials like wood and metal. The figure stated the fact loudly – Venetian blinds were all the rage in institutional and commercial markets.


The credit for innovation of the blinds goes to John Hampson from New Orleans who made a device that changed the angle of the slates on the Venetian blinds and is used even today. The device was a rod that was placed at the top of the blinds.


The first company that developed a light Venetian blind for sale was Hunter Douglas in 1946. Their designs included a one-inch slat that was introduced in the market in the 1960s.The designed was further modified in the 1990s and the size of the micro blind was reduced by half an inch.

Today, wider slats are preferred by the people and we see two inch blinds in the market. The blind design that we see today was patented back in 1841. However, it is the style and ease of use that has helped it in maintaining its popularity decades later since then.