The Awning: A Brief History of Awnings and Their Early Use in America

AwningIn the early morning, a shopkeeper rolls out an awning to begin the day; throughout the day, shoppers stand under the canopy to window-shop or escape a brief bout of rain. On a weekend afternoon, a family gathers under their porch awning to enjoy the shade. These are familiar scenes from earlier urban and residential life in America, and reveal just how prevalent awnings are throughout American history.

In a time before air conditioning, awnings played an important functional role. An awning could block out the sun’s rays, keeping the interior of a building relatively cool compared to the temperature outside. They could provide some much needed relief from the afternoon sun, shelter during light rainstorms, and even protect furniture and other items that might fade from prolonged direct exposure to the sun. Even more, awnings provided people with an opportunity to add some architectural flair and color to their building, residential and commercial alike.

In the modern age, awnings have a special nostalgic value linking us with an earlier America. Even with air conditioning and other fancy climate control methods, with a quick walk down Main Street, you’re sure to see various buildings, each with an awning to adorn its entryway.

Sunesta has been a leading manufacturer of custom retractable awnings since 1981. If you’d like to purchase an awning for your home or business, contact us today, and one of our representatives will be happy to assist you.