Previous | Next

Shutters in the early 19th century were typically louvered and were similar to what we often think of today as typical shutters.  However, louvered shutters, or “venetian blinds” as Madison would have called them, were a fairly new development for Virginia in ca. 1812.  In fact, venetian blinds appear to be first introduced into the region in ca. 1790.  Prior to ca. 1790, exterior or interior paneled shutters were much more common.  These solid panel shutters were used to not only block sunlight from entering a room, but they also acted as a privacy screen that shielded a room’s occupants from being observed from the outside.


Solid panel shutters found on the east elevation of George Washington's Mount Vernon (Fairfax County, VA).