Betsy Ross Made Our First Flag
and
Perhaps Our First Blinds

Betsy Ross worked in the upholstery trade all of her life. Each of her three husbands was a shop owner and engaged in upholstery as well as the many related trades. In the 18th century an upholsterer performed the usual tasks that one may expect but also was called upon to sell fine fabrics, make and hang wallpaper, curtains, bed hangings and also frequently was found to manufacture, hang and repair wooden venetian blinds. Betsy Ross' first husband, John Ross, worked along side his wife in the shop of Mr. John Webster, 'Upholsterer from London' as apprentice, from 1767 until 1773, when he and Betsy Ross opened their own shop two blocks away. It was in the shop of John Webster that John and Betsy acquired good working experience in all of the related trades of the business including that of manufacture and repair of the newly introduced 'Venetian Sun Shade' (venetian blind). It was John Webster that ran the first known advertisement for wooden blinds in The New World. The ad ran in the Pennsylvania Journal and Weekly Advertiser on August 20, 1767 The ad read:
"...the newest invented Venetian Sun Blinds for windows, on the best principles, stain'd to any colour, moves to any position, so as to give different lights, screens from the scorching rays of the sun, draws a cool air in hot weather, draws up as a curtain, and prevents being overlooked, and is the greatest preserver of furniture of anything of the kind ever invented."

After opening his own shop, John Ross also advertised the 'New Venetian Sun Shade'. One may assume, although there is no hard evidence, that Betsy Ross along with the sewing and other tasks, assisted in the making of blinds in the upholstery shop.

Betsy Ross was married three times in her life to three upholsterers, all of whom were shop owners and all of whom advertised Venetian Blinds in Philadelphia.

Betsy Ross made our first flag and apparently our first blinds.




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