Window screens and doors are one of those great modern conveniences that people rarely think about. They enable us to keep our windows open all hours of the day and night allowing those gentle ocean breezes to keep us cool and comfortable.
Screens also allow us to control our lives by regulating what passes or does not pass through them. They have helped protect people and save lives from the time the metal screen was invented right up to this very minute.
A Screen is Born
In 1861 Gilberr, Bennett and Company was manufacturing wire mesh sieves for food processing. An inspired employee realized that the wire cloth could be painted gray and sold as window screens and the product became an immediate success.*
Screens Protect Travelers
On July 7, 1868, Bayley and McCluskey filed a U.S. Patent for screened roof-top rail-car windows, allowing ventilation, while preventing “sparks, cinders, dust, etc.” from entering the passenger compartment.*
Screens Control Disease
Screens have long been used to prevent the spread of dangerous mosquito-born illnesses. In 1900, a malaria outbreak in New Jersey was annihilated military-style by a man named John Smith, who organized “mosquito brigades” of people who cut ditches and poured oil over the water to kill mosquito larvae. In neighboring New York, screens were placed over the windows to help protect residents and prevent the spread of the illness.
Screens and the Panama Canal: Malaria – Yellow Fever
While most people have never heard of the 1900 malaria outbreak in New Jersey, screens have played a major role in more high-profile disease outbreaks in history, like the one that happened during the construction of the Panama Canal.
During the building of the Panama Canal more than 20,000 workers were killed due to the spread of two mosquito-born diseases: malaria and yellow fever. When the United States took over the construction of the Canal it introducd screens as a way of controlling their spread.
William Crawford Gorgas’ (head of hospitals and sanitation for the Canal’s construction) final means of attack on disease was to quarantine individuals infected with yellow fever or malaria from the rest of the workforce. Those who were diagnosed with either disease were put into “Portable Fever Cages”, easily transportable screened structures used to prevent mosquitoes from biting an infected person and carrying the disease to others.
Gorgas also had the thousands of canal workers sleep in screened verandas, as the mosquitoes that spread malaria are nocturnal and would infect the most people at night. Wikipedia
Screens and the Zika Virus
Screens play an important role in disease control even today. In South America, where they’re having an outbreak of Zika virus, pregnant women are urged to stay indoors, away from mosquitos. (and of course, the indoors wouldn’t be any more safe than outdoors if it weren’t for screens.)
Even here in Los Angeles, where we’ve seen cases of West Nile virus, window screens help protect the public and stop the spread of disease.
Other Great Screen Rolls
Screens don’t just stop the spread of diseases, and or protect travelers from mosquitos and sparks. Screens play an important role in households everywhere.
- Child safety. It’s reported that about 5,000 children fall out of windows every year. Window screens can stop tragic accidents from happening because most children can’t fall out of windows that have sturdy screens in place.
- Burglar control. Some screens can even prevent burglaries from taking place. Security screens are one of the most recent innovations in screen technology. (See our recent blog: Guarda – Steel Security Screens.) Security screens are basically impossible to break through. You can hit security screens with bats, try to cut them with knives, even battle ram them with your body and you’ll never get through. Security screens can stop intruders from gaining access to your home and keep you safe at night.
- Pollen control. People with asthma and allergies can tell you that pollen is a dangerous health hazard. Fortunately, some window screens can help with this problem. The Pollentec Screen can prevent pollen from entering your home and exacerbating your asthma or your allergies.
Tashman Sells Quality Window Screens & Doors
Window screens and screen doors have been our speciality since opening our doors in 1961. Whether you want to install new, custom-made screens or replace old screens, we carry any screen type you could possibly want and if we don’t have it in stock, we’ll order it.
We’re proud to provide the people of Los Angeles with screens that promote good health, protect personal belongings and help keep children safe. For more information regarding custom or replacement window screens and screen doors, stop by Tashman Home Center (7769 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90046) or give us a call at (323) 498-2417 to set up an appointment. We have an experienced and knowledgable staff and we’d be delighted to learn what you’re looking to accomplish and how we might be of assistance.