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Glass Window Blinds

Listen as curator Jane Shadel Spillman describes Glass Window Blinds designed by Elias Hungerford. Hungerford received a patent for these glass window blinds in 1866. They were designed, he said, "to give light which enters the room any desired tint to correspond with the color of wall paper and carpets or furniture, thus giving to the room a most pleasing and harmonizing appearance." Hungerford insisted that his blinds would never require painting or varnishing, and that they could be produced very inexpensively. Amory Houghton Sr., president of the Brooklyn Flint Glass Works, agreed to manufacture the blinds. They were not a commercial success, and only a few sets survive. In 1868, Hungerford and some local investors persuaded Houghton to move to Corning and to rename his factory the Corning Flint Glass Works. The set shown here came from Hungerford's house in Corning.