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A History of Windows

Posted on July 28, 2021 in Pella Windows & Doors of Memphis

Old fashioned window

At Pella Windows & Doors of Memphis, we obviously have a great affection for windows. It has been said that windows are the eyes into the soul of a home. Have you ever sat in a cathedral and found yourself transported back in time as you admire the picturesque stained-glass windows? Most people do not realize just how far we have come since the dawn of the very first windows. They might seem like just a nice part of your home today, meant to help bring in more natural light, but the history of windows is fascinating.  

In the first homes, windows were no more than a decorative way to light the room. In fact, there was no glass, just simply a crude opening designed to let fresh air and light into the home. The lack of glass was the reason for the first shutters. The shutters kept out bugs, wintry weather and rain. Yet simply using shutters was hardly effective. The need for glass became noticeably clear.  

It is believed that the Romans were the first civilization to add glass to their windows. This occurred in 100 AD?in the North African part of their empire. It should be noted that these early glass windows were nothing like the ones we use today. In fact, it was almost certain that you could not see anything through these windows because the first glass was handblown. Handblown glass, even though it had extraordinarily little clarity, was still expensive and rarely available.

Yet glass production improved over the years and by the time the 16th?century came around glass windows were common in the houses of people with wealth. This is when some of the earliest timber windows in Yorkshire, London were introduced. The styles we still use today, such as timber sliding sash windows, were also gradually introduced as production techniques continued to improve over time.  

Also, during this time, the stunning?Hall of Mirrors in Versailles was built. It highlighted how far advanced window and glass making techniques had come. After that, the building of the Crystal Palace in London in the 1840s took the use of glass windows to a whole new level. At that time, a U.K. tax on windows was also removed, which helped make glass more affordable and appealing. 

Then in the 1900s a new glass making technique, using machines, was invented and the predecessor to modern glass was born. Machine drawn glass improved the clarity and consistency of glass but was still far from perfect. As glass making skills increased, larger panes increased and in 1959 modern glass was invented. Glass with a standard thickness and flawless clarity could be mass produced.  

These days, we see giant skyscrapers made up of impossible walls of glass in daring modern shapes and designs. There is no limit to the ways in which we can use glass to add life to our properties.  

As for the use of windows in family homes, the placement and styles of windows are now revolutionary and come in all shapes and sizes. There are a vast array of different window types and styles to choose from. Modern production methods mean that top quality windows are now highly effective and dependable.  

Window replacement not only enhances the curb appeal of your home, but it now also supplies a terrific opportunity for a stylish modern upgrade, which will in turn increase your home’s value. Additionally, some of the most popular modern window styles are energy efficient and even save you money on your energy expenses by using Argon gases to reroute the sun’s rays.  

We encourage you to visit Pella Windows & Doors of Memphis to see our own “hall of windows” in our showroom. We have the most up-to-date assortment of window options to enhance your home. Call us today to schedule an appointment for a free estimate at (901) 316-0166. We will work with you to ensure you get the best looking and most effective windows for your home. 

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