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The History of Hunter Douglas Blinds – A product’s success can be judged by the length of time its producer has been in business. Hunter Douglas, the company known for window coverings, started in 1919. Today, they have 65 manufacturing and 99 assembly plants in 100 countries.

The History of Hunter Douglas Blinds :

The Stage is Set

The venture began in Dusseldorf, Germany, where Henry Sonnenberg started a machine tool distribution and manufacturing company. He moved to Rotterdam in The Netherlands in 1933 and then to the United States in 1940 at the outbreak of WWII.

A Joint Venture

Hunter Douglas’ company history says that between 1943 and 1945, Joe Hunter secured milling contracts for low cost aluminum to benefit aircraft manufacturers. WWII was going on and companies such as Lockheed were looking for inexpensive materials for fighters. Sonnenberg met Hunter at this time and the two worked together casting and fabricating aluminum. The result was lightweight slats used for Venetian window blinds. The Hunter Douglas company was born with this product in 1946 when Sonnenberg, who didn’t like his last name, chose the name “Douglas” from a phone book. More than 1,000 fabricators in the United States and Canada custom assembled and sold these blinds.

Changes

The business grew in the United States, but by 1956, Sonnenberg moved the headquarters to Montreal, Canada. The window covering business continued to grow outside the United States in Europe, Latin America and Australia. Hunter Douglas continued to grow globally, moving its headquarters to Rotterdam in 1971 and five years later, regaining its former United States business and then expanding into Asia.

Innovative Products

Hunter Douglas’ website reports that in 1985, “Duette” honeycomb shades were developed. They were unique and practical, appealing to consumers during the energy crisis in the late 1970s. Under the direction of Jerry Fuchs who served Hunter Douglas for 17 years as president and CEO for all North American operations, the selection of innovative window coverings changed to meet consumer tastes and needs.
Leading Company

Hunter Douglas began as a simple company, but now leads in the window covering industry. With eye-catching, useful products such as ” Duettes,” “Silhouettes,” “Pirouettes” and “Luminettes,” to name a few, the company combines fashion and function to meet consumers’ needs.

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