US 3173475 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 1965 H. E. WEGNER LOUVERED SLAT DRAPERY Filed Feb. 23, 1962 INVENTOR. HERMAN E. WEGNER AGE/v7 United States Patent D 3,173,475 LOUVERED SLAT DRAPERY Herman Emil Wegner, Riverside, Calif., assignor to National Distillers and Chemical Corporation, Richmond, Va., a corporation of Virginia Filed Feb. 23, 1962, Ser. No. 175,047 4 Claims. (Cl. 160-433) The present invention relates to flexible curtains or draperies formed of narrow strips, or slats, of sheet metal, which are joined together edge to edge in a manner permitting relative angular movement between them, so that the assembly of slats may be rolled up into a compact bundle. The slats may be hinged together along their adjacent edges by means of interconnected edge-beads that are roll-formed on the slats, or the slats may be interlaced with string warp to form a woven fabric. Such curtains, or draperies, are generally used on patios or other outdoor living areas, and are hung from supporting frames or overhead structures to provide protection from wind and sun.
As heretofore constructed, these curtains, or draperies, have had the objectionable characteristic of completely blocking all light and movement of air, with the result that the area directly behind the curtain is sometimes darkened too much, or becomes warm due to lack of air circulation. In addition, the blank, shaded side of the curtain is totally devoid of any textural or structural character, and as a consequence tends to diminish the overall attractiveness of the general area in front of the curtain.
The present invention has as its primary object the provision of a flexible curtain or drapery of the class described, which provides adequate protection from the sun and wind, yet at the same time allows a certain amount of light and air to pass through to eliminate the objectionable features of the prior constructions.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a flexible curtain or drapery of sheet metal strips, which is so constructed and arranged that light impinging against one side of the curtain is reflected through slits in the strips to produce a pattern of light and shade on the other side of the curtain, simulating the light and shade pattern produced by an open-weave fabric made of woven strips. This visual eifect is extremely decorative, and is so pronounced under certain conditions of light, that it requires close inspection of the curtain to dispel the optical illusion.
These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon consideration of the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment thereof, reference being had to the accompanying drawings; wherein FIGURE 1 is a side elevational view of a flexible curtain embodying my invention;
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged, fragmentary elevational view of a portion of the curtain in FIGURE 1, showing one form of strip, wherein the edges are hinged together;
FIGURE 3 is a further enlarged cross-sectional View, taken at 33 in FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is a view similar to FIGURE 2, showing another form of the invention, in which the strips are interlaced with string warp to form a woven fabric;
FIGURE 5 is an enlarged cross-sectional view, taken at 55 in FIGURE 4; and
FIGURE 6 is a greatly enlarged fragmentary sectional view of a detail, showing one of the slits and the manner in which light impinging against one side of the strip is reflected down onto the lower marginal edge portion of the slit on the opposite side of the strip.
In FIGURE 1 of the drawings, the flexible curtain of the present invention is designated in its entirety by the reference numeral 10, and is supported along its top edge from a horizontal beam, or other overhead structural member 12, carried by vertical posts 13. The curtain 10 consists of a plurality of narrow, elongated strips 15 of sheet metal, which are joined together edge to edge in a manner permitting relative angular movement between them, so that the assembly of slats may be rolled up from the bottom into a compact cylindrical bundle 16, by means of a lift cord 18. In theillustrated embodiment, the two ends of the lift cord 18 are attached to the horizontal beam 12 behind the curtain adjacent the ends thereof, and the cord hangs downwardly along the back side of the curtain and is looped under the bottom edge thereof. On the front, or near side of the curtain, as viewed in FIGURE 1, the cord 18 extends upwardly and is passed through pulleys 20, from which it extends horizontally to another pulley 22 beyond the end of the curtain. The doubled cords 18 pass around the pulley 22 and hang downwardly therefrom to a cleat or other fastening device on the post 13, to which the cord may be secured for holding the curtain 10 in a raised or partially raised position.
In FIGURES 2 and 3, the slats 15 are hinged together along their adjacent edges by means of interconnected edge beads 26 and 28 that are roll-formed along the longitudinal edges of the slats. The edge beads 26 and 28 are curled in opposite directions with respect to one another, and each is rolled into the form of an incompletely closed, generally cylindrical configuration, having an edge 30 which is spaced a short distance from the adjacent side of the slat, thereby leaving a small gap. The edge beads 28 of the slats are telescopically interjoined with the edge beads 26 of the slats below, by sliding the slats together endwise to assemble the curtain.
Each of the slats 15 has a plurality of parallel rows 32 and 34 of slits formed therein, each of said rows comprising a plurality of longitudinally aligned, equidistantly spaced apart, horizontally elongated slits 36. The slits of the alternate rows 32 are offset longitudinally with respect to the slits of the intervening rows 34, as best shown in FIGURE 2, and the slits of each of the rows 32 are vertically aligned with the corresponding slits of all the other rows 32. The same is true for the slits of the rows 34. Thus, the slits 36 are arranged in a uniformly distributed pattern of horizontally and vertically aligned rows, in which each horizontal row is staggered with respect to the adjacent rows above and below it.
The slits 36 are lanced, or sheared, in the strip 15 without removing any material therefrom, and the upper and lower marginal edge portions 38 and 40 of each slit are bent in opposite directions from the plane of the slat, so that they lie approximately parallel to one another. As best shown in FIGURES 3 and 6, the upper and lower edges of each of the slits 36 are substantially straight and disposed in a substantially horizontal plane, and as a result, there is no appreciable vertical gap at the slit through which one may see horizontally. Consequently, the curtain 10 is most effective as a privacy screen, in spite of the thousands of apertures defined by the slits 36.
Referring now to FIGURE 6, it will be noted that the oppositely bent marginal edge portions 38 and 40 are so disposed with respect to one another that light impinging on the slat from the left-hand side thereof (as indicated by arrows) is reflected downwardly by the upper mar ginal edge portion 38 onto the upwardly facing righthand surface of the lower marginal edge portion 40.
The resulting pattern of light and shade produced on the shaded side of the curtain 10 (i.e., the right-hand side, as viewed in FIGURE 3) is a myriad of horizontally elongated, luminous light patches arranged in a uniformly distributed pattern of vertically spaced, horizontally extending lines, the alternate lines being offset from the intervening lines, and the said light patches being arranged in vertical lines, with all of the corresponding light patches in the said alternate lines being vertically aligned, and all of the corresponding light patches in the said intervening lines being vertically aligned. The visual eifect of this pattern is an optical illusion, simulating the light and shade pattern produced by an open-weave fabric made of woven strips. While the total amount of light passing through the slits 36 is only a small fraction of the total light impinging against the outside of the curtain, there is still an appreciable amount of illumination involved. As a result, the shaded side of the curtain is indirectly lighted with a light of soft quality, and in an extremely attractive textural pattern. Moreover, the slits 36 act as louvers, to allow a limited amount of air circulation.
Another form of the invention is shown in FIGURES 4 and 5, in which the slats 15' are formed with a slight arcuate crown, but are not provided with rolled edgebeads, as in the previous embodiment. Instead, the slats 15', which resemble sheet metal Venetian blind slats having slits 36 formed therein, are connected together edgeto-edge by means of a plurality of warp strings 50. The warp strings 59 are interlaced with the slats 15 to form a woven fabric, which is capable of being rolled into a compact cylindrical bundle 1 6. The slits 36 are exactly like the slits of the preceding embodiment, and therefore need not be described further. The warp strings 50 are preferably of nylon or other relatively weatherproof synthetic plastic material.
While I have shown and described in considerable detail what I believe to be the preferred embodiment of my invention, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made in the shape and arrangement of the several parts without departing from the broad scope of the invention as defined in the following claims.
1. A flexible curtain comprising a plurality of horizontally disposed, narrow elongated strips of sheet metal joined together edge to edge in a manner permitting relative angular movement between them, each of said strips having at least two spaced apart parallel rows of slits formed therein, each of said rows comprising a plurality of longitudinally aligned, equidistantly spaced, horizontally elongated slits, the slits of one of s aid rows being offset longitudinally with respect to the slits of the other row, the lower marginal edge portion of each of said. slits being bent out at an angle to the plane of the strip toward one side thereof, and the upper marginal edge portion of said slit being bent at an angle to the plane of the strip toward the opposite side thereof, the upper and lower edges of each of said slits being substantially straight and disposed in a horizontal plane, whereby light impinging on said one side of said strip is reflected downwardly through said slits onto the other side of said lower marginal edge portions in a uniformly distributed pattern of vertically spaced, horizontally extending lines of elongated light patches, the alternate lines of said light patches being offset from the intervening lines, the light patches of all of said alternate lines being vertically aligned, and the light patches of all of said intervening lines being vertically aligned, thereby simulating the light and shade pattern produced by an open-weave fabric made of woven strips.
2. A flexible curtain as set forth in claim 1, wherein said strips are hinged together along their adjacent edges, each of said strips having its longitudinal edges curled in opposite directions to form incompletely closed, substantially cylindrical edge beads, the bottom edge head of each of said strips being telescopically interjoined with the top edge head of the strip below.
3. A flexible curtain as set forth in claim 1, wherein said strips are separate from one another and are connected together edge to edge by a plurality of warp strings, said warp strings being interlaced with said strips to form a woven fabric.
4. A flexible curtain as set forth in claim 1, wherein said slits are lanced in said strip without removing material therefrom, said oppositely bent upper and lower marginal edge portions of each of said slits being substantially parallel to one another, and said upper and lower edges of each of said slits being disposed in a substantially horizontal plane.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS Re. 24,675 7/59 Zarnowski 160-235 1,583,910 5/26 Amrein 160231 1,749,556 3/30 Amrein 160-231 FOREIGN PATENTS 606,363 8/48 Great Britain. HARRISON R. MOSELEY, Primary Examiner.
LAWRENCE CHARLES, N. ANSI-IER, J. SCHMALL,
' Ex i s,