In climates where, during the almost tropical heat of summer, every breath of air is regarded as a blessing, and every stray breeze must be caught to cool us in our parlors and rooms, the ordinary close shutter is worse than useless, as it excludes all air and hinders ventilation. The blind that we ordinarily adopt, which can be closed to keep out the noonday sun and yet give vent to air, is one of the most striking instances of perfect adaptability with which we are conversant. As they are everywhere used, it may not be uninteresting to say a word or two concerning their history and journeyings. Venice claims the invention of them, and to this day, everywhere, they are called Venetian shutters ; from that city of refinement they were spread over the whole continent of Europe, and were brought to our Southern continent by the Spaniards, and to our Northern latitude by the Dutch, the climate of England rendering their use unnecessary, and although applicable any where, in that country they are seldom seen. They are almost universal now in every city of the Southern hemisphere, and form a distinct feature of likeness between all cities where warm summers are felt. In the good old times, when robbery and housebreaking were not quite so common, these blinds ma "e of wood were an all-sufficient protection ; but now, the housebreaker's art having advanced with everything else, the method of fastening them has been found unsafe, and the improvement we are about to describe consists in making tue fastening more secure, so that they are less liable to be broken open, and in constructing- them of iron, thus rendering them fireproof. In our engraving, Fig. 1 represents a window, with the blinds attached, one being open to show the fastening arrangement, and Fig. 2 a view of the slats, illustrating their method of attachment to the frame. A is the frame, [having the holloV tubes, B, running up each side, better seen at Fig. 2 in a slot in which t, the slat, C, is held by a wire, D, running the whole length of the tube. By withdrawing this wire all the slats are released, thus affording great facilities for repairing. The method of fastening them close or keeping them open is seen in the two figures. The slat has a piece, c, worked on it or left in cutting it out, which fits in a slot in a central tube, E, connecting all the slats, and through a hole in c, the wire, e, passes, attaching the slats to E in the same manner that they are attached to B. This tube, E, is also provided with a sliding wire, F, and two small slots, f and g, which receive the bent wire, G, that is attached to the side of the frame, and can move in it so that when the slats are to be open it will fit into the lower slot, g, as seen in the lower half of the blind, and when they are to be kept shut, it will fit into f, as seen the upper half, the sliding wire will be pushed over it, and it is most securely fixed. The principle of fastening and attaching the slats can be equally as well applied to wood as iron, the advantage of iron being that it is fire and burglar proof. It is the invention of A. M. Cochran, of 280 West Thirty-fifth street, New York, and was patented by him through the Scientific American Patent Agency, on the 3d of February, 1857. A bronze medal was awarded to the inventor at the last annual Fair of the American Institute held in the New York Crystal Palace, where it was exhibited. He will give any further information that may be desired.
This article was originally published with the title "Improved Window Blind" in Scientific American 13, 17, 132 (January 1858)