Have you ever thought about what it would be like to live without modern windows? Today most homes in New Jersey and Metropolitan New York have a crystal clear view of the world beyond their four walls. You can open a window to let in a gentle breeze or shut the sash to block out the frigid winter wind any time you want. While opaque replacement windows and patterned glass options available today allow you to add a bit of privacy, you don’t have to shield the view unless that is your choice. Our ancestors certainly didn’t have the benefits that modern homeowners enjoy.
Here’s a brief look at what windows used to look like before we had Energy-Star certified, high-performance windows.
Paper: Functional, But Boring
Glass window panes were available to some early settlers who reached the shores of what would become America in the 1600’s, but many of the earliest Cape Code style homes had oiled paper rather than glass. People stretched Kraft paper on a frame and coated the surfaces with oil to create a water-resistant fabric that blocked some air and moisture infiltration, and even allowed some light to come inside, but you couldn’t simply take a peek outdoors because you cannot see through oiled paper. Europeans used oiled paper for a variety of things, and once they settled in the New World, they found the material handy for weatherizing their homes.
Crown Glass: Better, But Still Cloudy
Early glass was far superior to paper windows, but still lacked clarity. Crown glass, which looks like sliced soda bottle bottoms surrounded by lead “rims” was a step up from glass produced by earlier cylinder glass techniques because it could be flattened and cut into other shapes than simply forming squares. The ability to cut diamond shapes with less waste allowed manufacturers to incorporate new artistic designs and features with less expense. While the process enabled more flexibility, it still was not possible to create large sheets of glass and smaller pieces were joined with lead or other metals to create bigger windows. With all the advancements, people still couldn’t get a clear, undistorted view through the window.
Marble & Metal Windows: Security & Beauty
Ancient windows were just a hole in the wall, no covering except perhaps a quilt or other piece of cloth to block the elements. There are some stunning examples of ornamental “windows” that were purely for security or artistic appeal. Intricately carved marble and ironwork provided both beauty and security from would-be intruders, but did not provide any protection against rain or wind and although they allowed natural sunlight to flow inside and plenty of ventilation, the view wasn’t great unless you pressed your face against the ornamentation to peer through an opening.
Modern Window Design: Function, Beauty and Security Come Together
Plate glass came on the scene in the 17th century and finally allowed people with sufficient money access to a clear, continuous sheet of glass that didn’t require melding several smaller pieces together. The manufacturing process saw many innovations during the early twentieth century as scientists discovered less expensive ways to manufacture larger, thinner sheets with fewer imperfections and better clarity. In the 1950’s, a new method called the float-glass technique further reduced imperfections and irregularities, paving the way for the modern glass types on the market today.
It isn’t necessary to peak through the spaces in a metal lattice or marble carved window opening today. Technological advances mean our New Jersey and New York Metro neighbors have access to crystal clear glazing that doesn’t obstruct your view. You can choose to add grilles that allow you to mimic early American window design, or leave your windows unadorned. Diverse replacement window styles mean you decide when you want to let a little fresh air in and whether you want a window that slides horizontally or vertically. Stronger, lighter glass provides extra security against would-be intruders and uninvited guests without compromising your comfort or limiting your creativity and decorating options. And, it’s still possible to use patterned glass to block an unsightly view beyond your windows or add another layer of privacy to certain areas in your home without limiting the view throughout your home. Beauty, function and security all come together in a perfect mix that fits your family and your lifestyle.
Modern Renewal by Andersen New Jersey & New York Metro Replacement Windows Transform Your View
In past centuries only the wealthy aristocracy could afford glass windows. Common folks had to make do with what they could find or afford. You deserve a crystal clear view of the world outside. One built to your exacting specifications and customized to complement your home’s unique features and design elements. Replacement windows transform your windows from cloudy and functional to clear and captivating. Need more information about modern window technology and the benefits of installing replacement windows in your home? Give us a quick a call at 1-888-826-2451 or fill in the short form on this page for more details.
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- The Difference Between Replacement and New Construction Windows!
- The Different Kinds of Frame Materials and What That Means to Your Windows’ Performance and Longevity!
- How the Right Glass Can Save You Money on Your Heating & Cooling Bills!
- The Critical Role Proper Installation Plays in the Performance, Durability and Warranty of Your New Replacement Windows!
- What Features and Options are Important to You and What Role They Play in Your Ultimate Satisfaction Today, and for as Long As You Live in Your Home!