Thursday 15 April 2010

Blinded by the light

What did I do today?
I fitted five Venetian blinds
to try to resolve a long standing difficulty over the
lighting in a room that is either too hot or too cold,
too bright or too dark with conventional curtains.
I'd like to think of it as a cooly minimal and rather modern solution
with a touch of New England about it,
but I am haunted by the memory of my childhood 
kitchen Venetian blinds
which were unwieldy and a nightmare to clean.

Over to Wikipedia -
Venetian blinds were patented by Edward Beran 
in London on 11 December 1769[1]
but in reality Venetian blinds 
were invented by the French long before then. 
The early history of the Venetian blind is conjectural. 
The early Venetians, who were great traders, 
are thought to have brought the idea of the blind 
from Persia to Venice. 
The Venetian slaves, once freed, are then thought to have 
brought the blind to France for personal comfort 
and as a means of livelihood. 
The French name for Venetian blinds is "persiennes." 
In 1761 St. Peter’s Church in Philadelphia 
was fitted with Venetian blinds. 
The first pioneer of the Venetian blind in the future US 
was John Webster of London who advertised his wares in 1767. 
Venetian blinds then appeared in the 1787 painting
 by J. L. Gerome Ferris, entitled 
"The Visit of Paul Jones to the Constitutional Convention." 
Other illustrations show Venetian blinds 
at Independence Hall in Philadelphia
 at the time of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.


  1. Oh yes, the shame of slatted grubbiness.....

    I have metal slatted blinds (aka filth traps) in the kitchen, for windows that are high and narrow, and overlooked by student houses. Once in a blue moon, I get them down, and give them a long soak in a bathful of warm water and biological washing powder. It's the only thing that works, and even then, takes a bit of work with a small brush. One of my most hateful chores.

    Wooden ones (like the Ikea cheapie in the bathroom) are a different sort of challenge, and I've learned to turn a blind eye....

  2. They're a pain to clean but , if they're not in the kitchen , a hoover is quite effective . Sometimes they're the only option and I agree with Rachel , a blind eye must be turned .