Opening and closing blinds and shutters from the inside of the house have formed the subject of a number of patents, some of which are of great merit, but few of them present equal claims to efficiency with that shown in the accompanying engravings, it having no springs or other adventitious aids to its proper operation. Fig. 1 shows one leaf of a shutter on which is secured a plate, A, shown in exaggerated proportions to exhibit the device plainly. On this plate is a catch, B, seen more plainly in Fig. 3, for receiving the bar, C, Figs. 1 and 2. This bar passes through a sleeve plate, D, secured to the stile or casing of the window frame, and is jointed, as seen in both figures— 1 and 2. The bar or rod for ordinary blinds need not be more than three-eighths of an inch in diameter. A hinged loop or guide, E, guides the bar in opening and closing the blind. When the bar is turned partly around in its boss, D, so as to bring its bent arm to an upright position, and then pulled inward the shutter will be closed because of the connecting loop, E, and then by turning the bar in the opposite direction, the bent arm will again enter the catch, B. A reverse motion opens the blind when the position of the handle of the lever will be, as seen, as at F, Fig. 1. The different notches in the catch, B, are intended to " bow " or set the blind at any angle required, and the position of the blind is assured in any position by means of a set screw in the boss, D, seen in Fig, 1. Thus the shutter, or blind, can readily be held either opened back against the building, partially closed, or securely fastened when entirely closed. Patented April 6,1869, by George A. and John B. Harris, who may be addressed at Deerfield, N. J. Property in Patents. The farmer " rises up early and eats the bread of carefulness; " he spends his time and his money in earnest efforts to increase the value of his farm, his crops, and his stock. This property the law recognizes as his, and defends him in its possession. If a man steals one Crf his horses the law sends the thief to the penitentiary and public sentiment says " Amen I" The inventor likewise devotes his time and money to the invention of that which will be useful to this farmer, and will aid him in the culture of his land or in securing his crops. He invents a reaper which gathers his grain, or a thrasher which makes it ready for the mill. While the farmer is producing his crops he is furnishing bread to his family. While the inventor is devising his machine he is bringing in no bread to his family, but is exhausting the means already on hand, and his family is often in the greatest want. Now, which should be the most sacred in the eye of the law, the horse raised by the farmer, or the invention perfected by tho brain worker? Certainly it would be morally just as nefarious to wrong the inventor, by appropriating his property in ideas to which he has given an embodiment, as to steal a horse from the farmer. And yet how few regard the subject in this light! Many who see a new and valuable thing, look at it and want one, but say, " Well, I can make one good enough for me for half the money; " or a manufacturer will say, " I can modify that a little and make one just as good, and save paying that inventor a royalty." Is that man or manufacturer honest ? And yet he would be shocked, and his friends would be shocked, if you were to insinuate that he was a thief. There is an impression that property acquired by physical labor is sacred, but brain work does not cost anything, and its creations are of no value. What a mistake! Brain work is immensely more exhausting to the vital forces than physical labor, and the discriminations of law and public sentiment, if any difference be made, should be in its favor. We have been led into these remarks by the proposed passage of a bill by the Ohio Legislature, enacting that when an inventor sells a patent right, and receives a note therefor, the note shall state, on its face, that it is for a patent. Now, what sense is there in this ? If the purchaser does not suppose that he is getting value received he should not give the note. The idea of the wise member who introduced the bill is, that the note thus drawn would not be negotiable, and if the purchaser of the patent finds it not as valuable as he supposed he may honorably repudiate. If this procedure is right, in this case, why not apply it in commercial transactions generally ? Let a man give his note for a horse, saying, in the note, that it was given for a horse, the presumption being, as in the patent case, that if the horse is found unsound, the note shall be null and void, would that note have any market value ? How would trade generally be affected under such a system of note giving? It would, at once, put us strictly upon the ready pay system, which, although best in the long run, is very unhandy when a man in want has not the money to supply his need. The proposed bill is an outrage upon inventors and manufacturers, and simply implies that they are a set of scoundrels whose main object is to swindle the public. We had also another thing in view when we began this disquisition, and that is the disposition of unprincipled manufacturers to defraud the yery men whom of all others they should most befriend. Instead of welcoming the new invention and dealing fairly with the inventor by paying him a royalty for his invention, their disposition is, as before stated, to take the main idea, make a slight modification, and put out the invention as their own. The public sentiment should be so changed that such a man shall, hereafter, be regarded as a dishonest man. Public sentiment makes law, and such a man acts honorably only through fear of the law. [We find the above truthful remarks in the Sorgo Journal and Farm Machinist, published at Cincinnati, and commend them to legislators and others who are wanting in a proper appreciation of the rights of inventors.—EDS. Diseases of Metal Workers. The fact that metal workers are liable to the attacks of special diseases is admitted by all medical writers. The lead colic and lead palsy of plumbers and painters, the metal ague ot brass melters, the pulmonary affections of dry grinders and needle pointers, and the peculiar ails of japanners, lacquerers, gilders, enamelers, and others who are exposed to the fumes of mercury, lead, or arsenic, may be cited as some of the ills that working flesh is heir to. Dr. William Frank Smith, F.C.S., the physician to the Sheffield Infirmary, publishes his notes, in the London Lancet, on seven cases of a paralytic affection which ho terms Hephsestic Hemiplegia, or Hammer Palsy, and which does not appear to have hitherto attracted much attention. Two table-blade strikers, a razor-blade striker, a hammersmith, an engineer, a file-forger, and a silver-plater, were the patients. With one exception, they were either young or in the prime of life; temperate, healthy, and, with the exception of the continual use of the seven-pound, single-handed hammer of their trade, exposed to none to none of the causes of paralysis. It is satisfactory to learn that this new disease can be combated by medical skill, and that in all the cases recorded by Dr. Frank Smith complete or partial recovery has followed the use of phosphorus, iron, strychnia, and cod-liver oil, with absolute and prolonged abstinence from the forge.
This article was originally published with the title "Harris' Improved Patent Shutter and Blind Opener and Fastener" in Scientific American 20, 21, 325 (May 1869)