Wooden blinds are generally known as Venetian blinds. A number of horizontal wooden slats are joined together by corded pulleys which can either gather all the slats at the top of the window to reveal the view or simply angle the slats while allowing some light to travel through the blind yet retaining some level of privacy. Wooden blinds come in a number of finishes (determined by the type of wood used, which ranges from painted to most types of solid oak varieties) and sizes (determined by the width of each slat which is usually available in one of three widths—25 mm, 35 mm or 50 mm). Wooden Venetian blinds are also available as vertical blinds. These are usually made up of wider slats and operate in virtually the same way as their horizontal counterparts (i.e. instead of being drawn upwards to reveal the window, the draw to one side gathering in a vertical bunch).
A Venetian blind (or venetian blind) has horizontal slats, one above another. Venetian blinds are basic slatted blinds made of metal or plastic; wooden slats are sometimes used but in the US these are now usually referred to as wood blinds or bamboo blinds. They are suspended by strips of cloth called tapes, or by cords, by which all slats in unison can be rotated through nearly 180 degrees. The slats can be rotated such that they overlap with one side facing inward and then in the opposite direction such that they overlap with the other side facing inward. Between those extremes, various degrees of separation may be effected between the slats by varying the rotation. There are also lift cords passing through slots in each slat. When these cords are pulled, the bottom of the blind moves upward, causing the lowest slats to press the underside of the next highest slat as the blind is raised. A modern variation of the lift cords combines them with the rotational cords in slots on the two edges of each slat. This avoids the slots otherwise required to allow a slat to rotate despite a lift cord passing through it, thus decreasing the amount of light passing through a closed blind. Slat width can be between 16 and 120 mm, with 25 mm being a common width.
Related patents were taken out in England by Gowin Knight in 1760 and Edward Beran on 11 December 1769, but Venetian blinds were known to the French long before then. In 1761, St. Peter’s Church, Philadelphia had such blinds.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Venetian blinds were widely adopted in office buildings to regulate light and air. A large modern complex in the US that adopted Venetian blinds was Rockefeller Center’s RCA Building (better known as the Radio City building) in New York City, completed in the 1930s. One of the largest orders for Venetian blinds ever placed was to the Burlington Venetian Blind Co., of Burlington, Vermont, which supplied blinds for the windows of the Empire State Building in New York City.