US 3240260 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
J. RABINOW WINDOW BLIND March 15, 1966 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Oct. 29, 1963 INVENTOR Jacob Rab/now Resilient ATTORNEYS march '15, 1966 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Oct. 29, 1963 Fig. 4
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ATTORNEYS March 15, 1966 J. RABINOW WINDOW BLIND Filed Oct, 29, 1963 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 Fig. 7
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1 x t /6c x x 44 a /4 INVENTOR Jacob Rab/now ATTORNEYS United States Patent Ofiice 3,240,260 WINDOW BLIND Jacob Rabinow, 6920 Selkirk Drive, Bethesda, Md. 20034 Filed Oct. 29, 1963, Ser. No. 319,7M Claims. (Cl. 160-166) This invention relates to blinds, and particularly to decorative and functional window blinds.
My invention pertains to the kinds of blinds which fall in the general classification of Venetian blinds. The conventional Venetian blind using ladder tapes to support horizontal slats, cords to tilt the slats, and other cords to raise and lower the blinds are, in many respects, satisfactory. This is particuarly true of modern blinds for standard window sizes, which can be acquired at reasonable costs. However, odd size Venetian blinds particularly in large sizes, are quite expensive.
Conventional Venetian blinds exclude light and provide privacy. However, they are often considered to be unattractive, and as having little or no decorative value. p
In fact, in many cases Venetian blinds are fully or partially hidden behind draperies. It is often suggested that if it were not for the excellent light-exclusion and privacy features of Venetian blinds, few would ever be used.
In a sense, a more serious problem arises in cleaning the blinds. Sometimes a person will try to wash the Venetian blind while it is hanging at the window. This is very difiicult because each slat has to be individually washed, and it is almost impossible to wash the ladder tapes (particularly if they are made of cloth) while the blind is hanging at the window. More often the blind is removed from the window, washed and replaced. Handling the blind during washing is difficult, as is removing and replacing it. This is particularly so if the blind is installed very high, as twelve or fifteen feet above the floor in a dwelling or other building having a high window.
As a possible improvement over horizontal slat Venetian blinds, vertical slat blinds are sometimes used. Typical examples of vertical slat blinds are found in U.S. Patent Nos. Re. 20,965; 2,828,816; and 2,611,426. However, they do little to alleviate the difficulty in washing the blinds except, perhaps, that they collect less dust.
An object of my invention is to provide a blind which eliminates or greatly diminishes the above problems and difiiculties, and at the same time is inexpensive to manufacture and easy to install.
A typical embodiment of my blind uses a header assembly and a base assembly, each containing a set of hooks, rollers or the equivalent. 1 have a one-piece continuous strip looped or reeved around the hooks or rollers, alternately one roller in the header assembly and a roller in the base assembly. Accordingly, my blind presents an appearance somewhat like the blinds in the above patent. However, the single-flexible strip forming the main body of the blind provides unusual features including economy, attractiveness and practicability.
Considering first the question of economy, instead of individual slats and ladder tapes as in the horizontal slat Venetian blinds, or instead of individual vertical strips with fasteners at the top and bottom ends, I use a considerably more inexpensive single strip of woven or nonwoven plastic, cloth, paper, paper product, etc. Thus, my blind has fewer parts, and assembly of the strip to the rollers can be left to the purchaser. Another feature having a bearing on economy is that it costs very little more for a long blind because extra length is provided by using a longer strip. No special cutting securing, etc. is required to fit the window in the vertical dimension. Instead, the strip is merely threaded over the hooks or rollers, and the excess strip cut off. The horizontal di- 3,24%,269 Patented Mar. 15, 1966 mension of the window is also easily fitted. For instance, the upper and base assemblies can be either made in a variety of sizes, or for non-standard windows the assemblies can be made in long sections with score marks (or the like) along the length thereof so that they can be broken off (or otherwise severed) to size.
My blinds are at least as attractive as the blinds disclosed in above patents and can be made considerably more attractive and versatile. The single ribbon or strip forming the main body of my blind can be so inexpensive as to be disposable, with the advantage that it may be replaced by a strip of a different material, or color, texture, etc. The strip is very easy to remove and replace, making it simple and practical to remove and dye or tint, and then replace. Since my blind uses a continuous, onepiece strip as its main body, the decorator, housewife, etc., can exercise decorative ingenuity such as by gathering and tying back sections of the tape on one or both sides of the blind so that the blind assumes an appearance more like window draperies or tie-back curtains than a blind.
The header assembly of my blind is preferably permanently installed at the top of the window frame, while the lower, or base, assembly can be either permanently fixed or made to lift and lower. Many forms of my invention have roller supports mounted as cantilevers, thereby leaving one end open so that loops of the strip formed over and under the respective rollers can be horizontally slid on and off the rollers. Other embodiments use hooks which can simply be the supports without rollers. Thus, the continuous, single piece strip can be very easily removed and replaced. This is stressed because the bandling of a very lightweight strip not only for removal and replacement but also for washing is a far simpler task than handling an entire Venetian blind of either the horizontal slat or vertical strip type.
As mentioned previously many Venetian blinds are very difficult to remove because the header box is in stalled high above the floor. My invention can do nothing directly to overcome the height problem, except it is considerably easier to handle a lightweight strip from the top of a step ladder than it is to handle a Venetian blind from the same step ladder. Furthemore, since I use a continuous strip for the main body of the blind, it is not necessary to remove the strip in order to wash it; nor is it necessary to remove one strip before replacing it with another. Both of these operations are easily performed. For washing the blind while it is in place it is only necessary to pull a part of the strip lengthwise of itself with one hand while clamping a wet cloth (with the other hand) against the two surfaces of the strip. If desired, a hand-crank operated reel can be used for propelling the strip in a circulating mode While so cleaning the strip. In order to replace a strip with another without prior removal of the original strip, the new strip can be attached to one end of the existing continuous strip and the existing strip pulled through the circuitous path between the rollers of the header and lower assemblies. Thus, the existing strip will act as a leader for the new strip which, when fully inserted, can be disconnected from the original strip.
Accordingly, another object of my invention is to provide a blind characterized vby a continuous, flexible strip forming the main body of the blind.
In a simple form of my invention the header and lower assemblies can be fixed in which case the blind cannot be raised and lowered. However, the strip portions spanning the window can be turned about their longitudinal axes or twisted to open and close the blind.
In other forms of my invention the lower assembly including its set of tape supports can be raised and lowered (in addition to the strip turning adjustment) to enable the window below the lower assembly to be particularly or completely uncovered. Whether partially raised or lowered, both sets of tape supports can be turned through the same angle so that the strip portions turn but do not twist. Alternatively one set of supports can be turned to a greater or a smaller angle than the other set to produce a number of interesting twist-effects.
A further object of my invention is to provide a versatile blind providing a number of possible adjustments to arrange the blind for desired degrees of privacy and light exclusion, while providing various ornamental effects.
Other objects and features will become apparent in following the description of the illustrated forms of the invention which are given by way of example only.
FIGURE 1 is a schematic elevation view of a window opening with a simple form of my blind mounted therein.
FIGURE 2 is a schematic view similar to FIGURE 1, but showing a second embodiment of my blind.
FIGURE 3 is a schematic elevational view showing another embodiment of my blind.
FIGURE 3a is a schematic view showing an ornamental effect achieved by my blind.
FIGURE 4 is an enlarged fragmentary elevational view, part shown in section, and illustrating structural details of my blind.
FIGURE 5 is a sectional view taken on line 55 of FIGURE 4.
FIGURE 6 is a sectional view taken on the line 66 of FIGURE 4.
FIGURE 7 is a fragmentary front view of another modification.
FIGURE 8 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view of a self-adjusting hook for the strip of FIGURE 7, but which can be used in other embodiments.
FIGURE 9 is an end view of the self-adjusting hook.
FIGURE 10 is a schematic view showing one of my blinds mounted horizontally.
The blind shown in FIGURE 1 is mounted in window opening 10, with header assembly 12 attached to the top of the window frame, and lower or base assembly 14 attached to (or slightly above) the window sill. Each assembly has a respective set of hooks 13 whose axes are in an upper and a lower plane. A single, continuous strip 16 of suitable flexible material (as mentioned before) is reeved or engaged over the top and under the bottom hooks in the manner shown. The ends 18 and 20 of the strip may be joined, by means of a tensioning device 19 such as a fiat or coil spring, a rubber strip or the equivalent. The end portions of the tape can pass under the base assembly, with the tensioning device 19 below assembly 14, or the device can be concealed within assembly 14. Alternatively device 19 can be omitted, allowing strip ends 18 and 20 to simply hang with or without weights in FIGURE 30 and 7), or they can be attached to the lower sides of the window.
As shown in FIGURES l and 3, the hooks of the upper set are laterally offset from the lower hooks. However, this is not a rigid requirement (as shown in FIGURE 7). In the embodiment of FIGURE 1 the hooks of the upper and lower assemblies can be adjusted about vertical axes to open and close the blind, but the lower assembly 14 cannot be raised and lowered. When the hooks of one assembly are turned through the same angle as the other, the portions or sections of strip 16 spanning the window are turned but are not twisted. When the turning angles are different, ornamental twists are introduced into the strip portions.
The embodiment of FIGURE 2 is similar to that of FIGURE 1 except that lower assembly 14 is not fixed, and strip 16 is engaged with rollers 50 mounted on roller supports instead of books. The blind is capable of being raised and lowered by using the same strip 16 which is used to form the main body of the blind. Instead of joining the strip ends 18 and as in FIGURE 1 they are brought out together over guides 21 and 22 which can be attached to the window frame (FIGURE 2). By pulling both ends of the strip in the same direction, assembly 14 will move up toward header assembly vertically opening the blind. This can be done directly by hand, or a crank and reel 23 assembly can be provided for this purpose. By pulling only one end, e.g., end 18, strip 16 can be made to shift in the blind. Continuous pulling will remove the strip as described before. By joining ends 18 and 20 and pulling the strip in one direction, the strip can be made to circulate through the blind and through a cleaning station, as described.
Since my blinds use a one-piece continuous strip 16, decorative effects can be achieved, which would not be possible in a blind using individual strips (due to the fixed length of each strip portion). For instance (FIG- URE 3a), I can gather one half (more or less) of the strip portions, and the gathered portions can be tied-back as at 32 to provide a drapery or a tie-back curtain appearance. Then, after tying, the upper and/or lower sets of rollers can be adjusted to provide other twisteffects. The ties 32 can be higher or lower than shown, and the blind can be partially raised before tying for stillfurther effects. None of the above arrangements could be made if the strip 16 were not in one piece. The reason is that some of the strip portions between the upper and lower assemblies become longer than others, and my one-piece strip is self-compensating as to length, and the exact total length is not critical. When more total length is required, spring 19 stretches, or additional strip is wound off reel 23, or the weights or the base assembly lifts a very short distance. (The non-critical aspect of the total strip length makes shrinkage of the strip, e.g., because of washing, especially in a washing machine, completely unimportant.) Further decorative effects are possible by having the lower hooks (or rollers) laterally offset from the upper (FIGURE 3) or in vertical alignment (FIGURE 7, described later).
Attention is directed to FIGURES 46 showing the details of construction of my blinds. The header assembly 12 is shown mounted in opening 10 and held in place by screws 42 or the equivalent. Both the header assembly 12 and the base assembly 14 can be made with a very thin profile. For example, header assembly 12 consists of an upwardly opening channel 46 approximately a quarter of an inch deep, which the hooks or the roller supports 48 project vertically therefrom less than an inch. Furthermore, the roller supports can be made vertically shorter by reducing the diameter of the rollers 56, or as stated above by omitting the rollers and using the supports themselves (as the hooks 13) to support the strip 16. Each roller support consists of a short spindle 52 extending through an opening in the bottom of channel 46, a right angularly extending part 53 with a right angle arm 54 at one end, to which the horizontal roller spindle 55 (same as hook 13) is fixed. The roller, preferably of moulded plastic, is slipped onto spindle 55 and held against axial motion by member 54 and locking ring 56 (or the equivalent) in the recessed end of the roller. Rollers 50 can be slightly crowned and/or provided with short side flanges 58 to prevent strip 16 from sliding therefrom during normal use of my blind.
Cranks 60 made of plastic or metal are engaged with spindles 52 of all (except the left end one, FIGURES 4 and 6) of the roller supports. Members 60 can be held fixed to spindles 52 by any suitable means such as by set screws or by any other conventional fastening expedient. Being disposed in channel 46, members 60 prevent roller supports 48 from pulling out from the upper assembly but allow the roller supports to be rotationally adjusted about the axes of their spindles 52.
Although various means can be used to simultaneously adjust all of the roller supports or hooks, I have shown (FIGURE 6) an adjusting means capable of approximately operation. For this purpose I have a link 64 pivoted to one end of each crank 60, and another link 66 with arms 68 pivoted to the opposite end of each crank 60. The arms 68 lie below the cranks, while the link 64 is above the cranks (or vice versa). Adjacent ends of links 64 and 66 are pivoted to pulley 70 and lie on its opposite faces. The pulley is located in channel 46 and fixed to the only spindle 52 which does not have a crank 60. A beaded chain 72 (or the equivalent) is engaged with pulley 70 (FIGURE 5) and passes over guide pulleys 7 6 and 77 in openings at one end of channel 46. When the chain is pulled pulley 7 is rotated thereby causing links 64 and 66 to operate cranks 60 and turn the roller supports. Since links 64 and 66 respectively lie above and below cranks 60 they do not interfere with each other for approximately 180 rotation.
The lower or base assembly 14 is very similar to the upper assembly. It has a plurality of rollers carried by supports identical to supports 48 (13 in FIGURE 1) and these, in turn, are mounted for rotational adjustment in a box beam 82 (FIGURE A box beam is selected (instead of a channel as at 46) so that if the blind is to be elevated, the bottom of assembly 14 will present a finished appearance. The only other difference of significance between the upper and lower assemblies is that the beaded chain type adjusting means for the rollers or hooks may be omitted. Such an adjustment mechanism is not required because the base assembly is ordinarily accessible to the user, and a simpler adjusting means can be used. Accordingly, I have a slot 84 in the front and rear walls of the box beam 82, and a fiat wheel 86 (or the equivalent) attached to one spindle 52a (FIGURE 5). A part of the wheel surface projects through the front slot to provide a finger grip by which to turn the wheel 86. Since all of the members 60:: (FIGURE 4) are interconnected by a linkage 64a, 66a (FIGURE 5) similar to links 64 and 66, movement of the wheel 86 to the left or the right will cause a corresponding simultaneous adjustment of all of the roller supports about their vertical axes. Thus, the lower looped ends of the sections of strip 16 can be rotationally adjusted to the same angle (or a different angle) as the upper looped ends of the strip sections. In embodiments where the base assembly is fixed, both sets of roller supports can be simultaneously adjusted by using a single, closed-loop beaded chain around pulley 70 and an identical pulley (not shown) replacing wheel 86.
Attention is now directed to FIGURES 79 showing another form of my blind. The strip 16 is engaged with hooks 13 of the upper and base assembly which are in vertical alignment, i.e., the upper hooks are directly above corresponding lower hooks. This is in contrast to the approximately 50% offset arrangement shown in FIG- URE 3. One feature of the FIGURE 7 arrangement is that the back-portions of the strip lie behind the adjacent edges of adjacent front-portions. Also, the artistic presentation of the two blinds is somewhat different.
Since the back strip portions in FIGURE 7 must be slanted to reach, for example, from a lower hook of one vertical pair to an upper hook of the adjacent pair, the hooks cannot be exactly horizontal. They must be tilted slightly (as shown), and when the blind is adjusted by rotation of the hooks, the tilt angle changes. Accordingly, I have self-adjusting hooks (FIGURES 8 and 9) designed especially for the embodiment of FIGURE 7, but which can be used in any of my blinds. Self-adjusting hook 13b is the same as the previously described hooks, except I have interposed an articulate joint 90 between the part 53b and spindle 52b to allow the hook to tilt about a horizontal axis as urged by the strip while being adjusted. Although the joint 90 can be made in many ways I have shown an eye 92 at the end of hook part 53b. The eye is disposed within fork 94 at one end of spindle 52b, and a pin 96 couples the eye to the fork. The other end of spindle 52b is located in the upper as- 6 sembly body 12b containing a hook-adjusting means, e.g., like that of FIGURE 6.
There is another feature shown in FIGURE 8 which can be applied to all forms of my blind. Header assembly 12!) has a valance panel 98 which obscures the hooks and the loops of strip on the hooks.
The blind in FIGURE 3 has weights 15 at the ends of the strip, and I have shown a similar weight 15 in FIG- URE 7 to both tension the entire strip in the blind and to keep the right hand end portion of the strip hanging properly. In embodiments where the left and right end portions are constrained, e.g., by rollers 21 and 22 in FIGURE 3, the two end strip portions will twist as the hooks (or rollers) are turned, and the same holds true for the embodiments using weights (FIGURE 3a) or a weight (FIGURE 7). However, to assure that the end strip portions do hang properly and to prevent them from being blown or otherwise moved undesirably, they can be attached to the sides of the window frame by hooks, magnets, etc., or connected to the base assembly by easilyreleased fasteners. In FIGURE 7 where only one end portion 16c hangs, only one fastener is required.
Throughout the description of my blinds, I have often referred to upper and header assembly, and lower" and base assembly. Notwithstanding this, it is obvious various forms of my blind can be mounted horizontally (FIGURE 10) instead of vertically with little or no modification. One desirable modification for my blind when used horizontally would tend to simplify the blind. In the horizontal arrangement I do not need an adjusting device such as the illustrated beaded chain 72. Two base assemblies, (e.g., identical to assemblies 14) could be vertically mounted at the left and right sides of a window (or other) opening 10 with both finger operated wheels 86 at the lower corners of the window opening. My blind would then assume more of the appearance of jalousie window or an ornamental louver. To prevent sag (if any) of the horizontal strip portions, I would normally use one or two spring members 19a and 1912 at the ends of the strip to keep it tight.
1. A blind comprising a first and a second assembly of elongate strip supporting members, and means constituting the body of the blind, said means comprising a single flat flexible strip of substantially uniform width supported by successive members of said assemblies with said strip arranged alternately around a member of said rst assembly and then around a member of said second assembly and again around successive members of both assemblies.
2. The blind of claim 1 wherein the members of at least one of said assemblies are rotatively adjustable about axes at an angle to said elongate members, and means to adjust the last-mentioned members about said axes to turn the portions of the flexible strip supported thereby and consequently adjust the body of the blind in a manner to open or close the blind.
3. The blind of claim 1 wherein said first assembly is movable and said strip has two ends, and means associated with at least one of said ends to displace said first assembly with respect to the other by moving said strip lengthwise.
4. The blind of claim 1 wherein said first assembly includes a structural support, means rotationally adjustably connecting the members of said first assembly to said structural support, the last-mentioned members being adjustable between a position at which they are approximately parallel to the plane of the window and a position at which they are at an angle to the plane of the window, and means to so adjust said members and thereby twist the portions of the flexible strip extending between said groups of members.
5. The blind of claim 4 wherein said second assembly includes a structural support, and means rotationally adjustably supporting its group of members so that upon similar adjustment of both groups of members said portions of said strip are turned instead of being twisted.
6. The window blind of claim 1 wherein one dimension of the blind is governed by the total length of said strip which is used, and means to foreshorten said strip after the blind is installed at a window and thereby change said dimension to open the blind.
7. In an adjustable blind, a first assembly of strip supporting members, a second assembly of strip supporting members spaced from said first assembly, means for adjusting the members of at least one of said assemblies between blind-open and blind-closed respective positions, and means forming the body of the blind which is opened and closed in response to actuation of said adjusting means, said body forming means comprising a one-piece flat flexible strip engaging successive members of each assembly by alternately being engaged with a member of one assembly and then a member of the other assembly.
8. A window blind having first and second spaced assemblies adapted to be positioned across from each other, each assembly including a group of support members, a flat flexible strip of substantially uniform width throughout its length and forming the body of the blind, said strip supported on said members by being looped around successive pairs of members where a pair consists of one member of each group, and means to open the blind by pulling said strip to thereby foreshorten the portions of the strip between said assemblies and thus move one assembly toward the other.
9. In a blind for a window, a header assembly including a plurality of rollers in a horizontal plane substantially parallel to the upper edge of the window opening, means to adjust all of said rollers in said plane from a position at which said rollers are substantially coaxial to a position at which the roller axes are approximately at right angles to the plane of the window, a lower assembly of rollers, means to adjust said lower rollers to positions similar to the positions of the header rollers, a flat flexible one-piece strip looped around and extending between successive alternate header and lower rollers so that portions of the one-piece strip between corresponding upper and lower rollers constitute the body of the blind, said strip portions turning from an approximately coplanar position to multi-plane positions when said rollers are adjusted from the blind-closed to the blind-open position, and means operative with two end portions of the strip for shortening the effective length of said strip portions to thereby lift the lower assembly.
10. In a window blind, a header assembly including a plurality of support members in an approximately horizontal position substantially parallel to the upper edge of the window opening, means to adjust said support members to a position at which said members are at an angle to the plane of the window opening, a lower assembly of support members, means to adjust the lower support members to positions similar to the positions of the header members, a flat flexible one-piece strip looped around and extending between successive alternate header and lower members so that portions of the one-piece strip between corresponding upper and lower members constitute the body of the blind, and said strip portions turning from an approximately coplanar to multi-plan-ar positions in response to adjustment of said support members between blind-closed and blind-open positions.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS Re. 20,965 1/1939 Norton 133 703,773 7/1902 Eckert Q 160-196 736,642 8/1903 Sheridon 16086 X 1,984,270 12/1934 Hurxthal et al 226-104 2,520,272 8/1950 Bopp et a1. 160176 2,611,426 9/1952 Randall 160-176 2,828,816 4/1958 Nestor 160166 2,887,153 5/1959 Longley 160166 HARRISON R. MOSELEY, Primary Examiner.
P. M. CAUN, Assistant Examiner.