It is interesting to know that the history of glass windows traces back to pre-historic times. A glass surfaced in the regions of Eastern Mesopotamia and Egypt in 3500 BC. The glass window in modern times may look pretty plain, but there are little-known facts about the dozens of engineered parts that make up a glass window.
Take a sneak preview into the history of glass windows and learn to appreciate how glass windows evolve into what it is today.
What did windows use before the invention of glass?
Think about the simple abode of Babylonians during the time of Moses. A window used to be nothing more than a hole on the side of the house or an unglazed roof opening. The people during ancient times covered the hole with animal hide or stone.
When did glass begin to be used in windows?
The Romans were the first recorded civilization to use glass for windows in 100 AD. An ancient ruin of Pompeii bore signs of glass used in windows with bronze frames. But glass during ancient times was very thick and impossible to see through. It is a far cry from the transparent glass that we know today.
By the end of the 1st century AD, manufacturing glass was refined and done at scale. It became a commonly available material during that time.
How were the first glass windows made?
In the 17th century, the British manufactured the first glass window in Britain. It was a broadsheet glass – a lengthy balloon of glass blown and removed. It leaves a cylinder to be split and flattened. As it was expensive, only the affluent could afford it.
Glassmaking in the Colonies
The English settlers brought glass making to America in the early 17th century. Jamestown in Virginia is where first glass factory opened. The manufacturing process consisted of a flattened and reheated bubble of glass cut into shapes. The method was cheap and efficient: the blown glass would be spun into a disc, slit, laid flat, and cut to form a pane.
When did glass windows become common in America?
In 1907, the first automated glassmaking machine was unveiled in America. At the end of the 20th century, all new buildings had glass windows. The glass industry found ways to improve energy efficiency by creating an insulating air space.
Did the Old West have glass windows?
The Old West had glass windows after the emigrants came to the region. They placed thick wooden shutters outside the windows to protect against Indian attacks and cold temperatures.
A few fun facts:
- The term window comes from an Old Norse term, meaning wind-eye
- The White House has 147 windows
- Empire State Building has 6,500 windows
Types of Glass through the Years
- Crown or Table Glass – The earliest type of glass in America
- Cylinder Blown – This glass is ordinary from 1800 until the civil war
- Float Glass – Float Glass is made by floating and drying glass on a bed of molten tin
Timeline in History of Glass Windows
- 100 AD – Romans were the first to use glass for windows
- 1608 – Glass-making in America began in Jamestown, Virginia
- 1700 – The colonists imported glass windows and table glass
- 1843 – Engineer Henry Bessemer introduced an early form of Float glass
- 1848 – Engineer Henry Bessemer patented the Automated glass manufacturing
- 1930 – The first patent for a sealed double-glazed unit in the US
- 1973 – Countries offered grants and cheap loans to improve building efficiency, including the double-glazed windows
- 1990 – Paarhammer made the first double glazed tilt and turned windows for the Australian market
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Call us for various home window repair services:
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Our team aims for 100% perfection in our work and leave no stones unturned under our watch.
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Expect us to take your safety and the safety of our crew seriously.
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We will always be happy to answer your questions, explain our process, and break down any costs included in our job.
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