“Colonial Revival” explains a lot about the shutter hardware seen on many early homes.
The centennial celebration in 1876 was the first real recognition of historic structures in this country. The Centennial was intended to showcase advances in American industrial technology to the world. It was held in Philadelphia so Independence Hall & the Liberty Bell were proud attractions and received the appropriate facelifts.
The “Fair” was a great success and probably marked one of the first times America recognized its historic structures as the national treasures they have always been.
The 1880’s saw the introduction of many new styles of shutter hardware, for the first time much of it based on earlier historic patterns. Much of the hardware currently seen on historic buildings was produced and installed in that timeframe. Our Southern cities are rich in hardware of this genre – perhaps replacements for earlier hardware stripped and used to make cannons and such during the Civil War.
The sesquicentennial (150 years - 1932) celebration held again in Philadelphia was a technologic bust, but turned patriotic and spurred nationwide interest in Colonial architecture. Much of the new construction in the following decades incorporated Colonial elements. Shutters and their hardware are a hallmark of the style.