The History of Shop Front Roller Shutters
Whether they’re covering a small shop front in your neighborhood or the extensive windows and doors of a large store in the big city, roller shutters serve an important purpose-security. For all business owners, the goal of installing this type of covering is two-fold: to keep their merchandise in and unwanted people out. At Rollac, we are proud to provide a high quality and durable product to local and national business to do just that. Yet, it was only recently that we learned the history of the roller shutter, the beginnings of this aluminum protector.
It’s all Greek…
Yes, you guessed it today’s shop front roller shutter was created in 1st century AD Greece. The mathematician Heron of Alexandria used fire to heat water, which then turned into steam. As a result, the steam displaced the weight that pulled on a rope to open a temple door. This same design also led to the modern-day invention of the vending machine (another brilliant invention).
Throughout the Second World War roller shutters became increasingly popular. Firstly, they protected against vandals robbing local businesses. The spike in crime was due to sheer desperation by many people due to long-term food rations. Not to mention the shortage of basic items such as clothing and personal hygiene products. Once access was gained these products were either stolen and sold on the black market, or taken and used by people that were in desperate need.
The shop front roller shutters also provided a life-saving use during the air raids of this war. In order for cities and towns to disappear during these attacks, the roller shutters were closed on all businesses. This made these pockets of population disappear and the result was pilots often flew right over towns and villages unable to locate their bomb target.
During the 1970s here in the United States and throughout many other industrialized countries in the world, the popularity of roller shutters rose again. With the petroleum shortages and the economic downturn that ensued, what is historically known as the energy crisis left many people unemployed and desperate. It was during this time the ‘smash and grab’ style of crime became popular. Storefront windows were shattered and vandals gained access to the business. While inside they would grab as many items as possible, stuffing them into their clothing, bags, and even grocery carts, escaping through the smashed shop front window before the police arrived.
At the same time, with the cost of heating and cooling a business becoming increasingly expensive due to the astronomically high cost of oil and gas, many were looking for alternative forms of insulation. That’s when business owners began installing shop front roller shutters. They became a common sight above many store windows and doors. Their purpose was two-fold.
Today’s Roller Shutter
Today’s shop front roller shutters have seen their potential uses expand quickly. Here in the United States, not only do business owners purchase these coverings for security purposes, but also to protect against one of greatest vandals, Mother Nature. With extreme weather events such as hurricanes and tornados on the rise roller shutters are an efficient way to protect a business.
From its humble origins as a temple door opener, today’s shop front roller shutters have certainly stood the test of time. Regardless of the size of your business, this type of aluminum covering is an unmatched way to protect your livelihood. Call us at Rollac today.