Jalousie windows, their history and where to buy them today — 21 photos from 1950

jalousie windowsLet's-decorate-1950Jalousie windows — the louvered glass panels often seen in storm doors, enclosed porches or breezeways — are a common feature of mid-century homes, especially in warmer climates. Typically installed to enclose outdoor areas like porches, jalousie windows are also found in areas of the home in need more light and ventilation. In midcentury America — days when central air conditioning was not common — these windows allowed summer breezes pass through freely — and no metal cross braces meant that views were unobstructed.

We think there are good reasons to consider saving — or adding jalousie windows — hence, they made our list of the top ten most endangered features of mid century homes. Note: Please check local building codes.

ludman jalousie windowsWhy do we call them Jalousie Windows?

Before diving into the pros and cons of Jalousie windows, Pam and I first did some digging to find out where the word came from. The research that seems to make the most sense to us is this short discussion on the Eggcorn Forum. Basically, it says that the word ‘jalousie’ started from the Italian ‘gelosias’  — a trellis with wood or iron panels to protect one’s privacy. The word ‘gelosias’ means ‘jealousy’ — as in using the shades to jealously guard the privacy of a home. The similar French translation ‘celosias’ also has a subtle meaning ‘sun-blind’  related to the concept of jealousy, the eggcornians say.

And hmmm, this eggcorn group also jumps to a discussion of why we call metal horizontal blinds “Venetian” blinds. But they are just playing with words — we are not meant to take the word “Venusian” seriously. Pam’s survey of the www seems to suggest (1) a lot of conjecture mostly centered around the idea that (2) Venetians [people from Venice] propelled the popularity of this type of blind, which had been around in some form or another for hundreds of years — numerous civilizations’ solution, using vernacular materials, to keeping the sun — and prying eyes — out of their homes.

Thinking about the way the slats are designed, Jalousie windows and Venetian blinds really are the exact same concept — jalousies are just fixed, while Venetians are portable.

LudmanJalousies-13Back to  ‘jalousies’. Pam went looking for info, too, and found a few more tidbits:

  • Wikipedia says, “patent for a louvered window was applied for in the US in 1900 and patented Nov. 26, 1901. Patent # 687705 by Joseph W. Walker, of Malden, Massachusetts.”
  • Merriam-Webster says the first known use of this term (for windows, we guess) was 1766.

jalousie windows porchLet’s look at midcentury jalousie windows

This whole little journey into language started first with — pictures. Poking around archive.org a while back, I found this collection of information and advertising for Ludman Jalouises. Back in 1950 when these brochures were published, Jalousie windows were labeled as cutting-edge technology — even if the concept had been around for hundreds of years. The caption in one illustration reads:

picture windows that open

Jalousies were promoted as “Picture windows that open.”

Don’t be old fashioned — the Jalousie window has proven to be the most versatile and functional window yet designed for new construction or replacements of old windows in porches, homes, breezeways, etc. Vent Vue is the product of years of precision engineering and advanced manufacturing “know how.” Available in clear, obscure and heat resistant Solex glass.

These Ludman Jalousie windows also came with inside screens and outside storms that allowed for three-season use. For doors, there also is a mention of a combination storm and screen.

And, there is mention of wood slats (rather than glass) as a choice.


jalousie windowsJalousie windows were advertised as part of the house of the future. Heck even the Joneses — that family that everyone else was trying to keep up with — caused a stir in their neighborhood when they installed this amazing new product. The ad above reads:

What’s all the excitement on 12th St.? Ludman Windo Tite Jalousies have transformed the Jones’ front porch! That new look! Attractive and eye-catching…as trim and clean-lined as an artist’s drawing of a prize winning home! All because the Joneses are keeping up with the world. They’re living in brighter beauty with new Windo Tite Jalouises. You can keep up with the Joneses…and enjoy a whole new era of comfort. Fresh air all of the time, even when it rains…and the airy luxury of outdoor living indoors, which full privacy and security.

ludman jalousie windowsLike most home construction materials, Jalousie windows have continued to advance in design, efficiency, and security. If you are considering adding new Jalousie windows to your home, it is important to take into consideration your climate, expectations for the space and security features. Check local building codes, too.

jalousie windowsWhere to buy Jalousie windows

Below are several sources for Jalousie windows today:

jalousie-window-door

The Burch Company offers two styles of storm doors with jalousie windows

Mega thanks to archive.org and the MBJ Collection for making this vintage catalog available.

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Tips to view slide show: Click on first image… it will enlarge and you can also read my captions… move forward or back via arrows below the photo… you can start or stop at any image:

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Comments

  1. dawn says

    I found a whole sale company crlaurence.com- that has a lot of jalousie parts- they recommended contacting dkhardware.com glassdistributorsinc.com. They told me these companies could order products from them for you.

  2. Robert says

    I would like to upgrade our Breezeway. The windows are near 60 years old. The wife has made breezeway into a pleasant room. It does have our fireplace in it as well. Thinking of overhead AC, you know so-called ductless I think. Understand I live in Houston on Galv Bay. June – October and the randoms after that!! Adding to central AC in other part of the home is a bit more cost prohibitive. Breezeway appears on their site to make what I think would work for additional seal, insulation necessary for taking that step to go with AC. Do they ship to mainland? I’m not sure I have ever located a source for upgrade insulating Jalousies other than a couple of the suggested manufacturers. But Hawaii only? So anyone have experience with purchasing upgrade Jalousies for better seal, insulation, and overall stronger glass (hurricanes remember i said Houston). Two-doors, Eight-5×2 Windows.

  3. Robert says

    Pam, I did contact Breezway. They were very professional about it and yes can get the product to Texas. Breezway upfront no problem offers nearly duplicate dimensions. I chose no change from original. Caveat Frame depth. Adding 1 1/8th. My application would be in the neighborhood 10K uninstalled. That would keep the theme and retard storm damage further. It also would allow adding the obvious (Houston) AC. Thinking overhead system for those aforementioned month’s. Waiting on the comparison possibility with Tafco. Haven’t done it the email way like I did with Breezway. Letting Home Depot check. I will look at Burch as well.

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