For exceptional light control throughout the year, it is difficult to find a better, more solid or more versatile solution than adjustable wooden shutters or Venetian blinds.
Taking advantage of adjustable louvres, both shutters and Venetian blinds have been the go-to solutions for elegant, professional window coverings for over a century, with the choice relying on whether the greater adjustment of the latter is more important than the solid aesthetics of the former.
The latter was particularly popular at the end of the 19th century up onwards, as they helped to manage and regulate air quality and light for the rapidly growing industry of increasingly tall buildings.
The skyscraper was a marvel of engineering that defined and formed an iconic part of the landscape of the United States, particularly in the city of New York.
Bigger buildings lead to new issues, however. Whilst offices with sufficiently large windows always have problems with glare and harsh natural light, this is particularly problematic with skyscrapers due to the more acute angles the sun’s rays come from.
This is where blinds came in as a vital solution, and due to the differing requirements of light during different points of the day, the versatility of Venetian blinds was required.
Many skyscrapers, including 30 Rock (aka the RCA/Comcast Building), took advantage of their versatility but the largest order for Venetian blinds ever made was for the Empire State Building, which was the tallest building in the world on completion.
This tremendously significant order went to a company in Burlington, Vermont. At the time, the company in question was one of the biggest in the area and one of the longest-surviving companies to specialise in Venetian blinds.
This huge publicity helped to increase sales even during the Great Depression. However, by the time the Second World War had ended, the company involved with the biggest order of Venetian blinds in history was beginning to wind down, finally closing by 1954.