Plantation shutters first got their name from the old plantations in the South. The louvers used in the South were “wider” than traditional shutters and the shutters were put on the outside of the house. These were movable louvered shutters used both for decoration and protection from the elements when closed over the windows.
During the population boom in California in the 1950's, homes were built with large glass windows because thermal efficiency was not an issue. Homeowners wanted a “view” through their windows. Shutter manufacturers introduced wide louvered shutters to be installed inside the house as a window covering. These were in contrast to “traditional” shutters and the wide louvers were called “California Shutters” or “Plantation Shutters”. These Plantation Shutters allowed people to open the louvers for the “View” or close the louvers at night for privacy. It soon became obvious that a plantation shutter, when the louvers were closed, kept the heat from the sun out during the day and the use of plantation shutters grew throughout the Sun Belt to Arizona, Texas and Florida where the population was growing wild. The name “Plantation Shutter” stuck and today it generally means a wide louvered shutter used as an interior window covering.