A Look Back on the History of Window Glass

Most modern homeowners find it difficult to imagine a world without glass windows. After all, we rely on windows for natural light, ventilation, and even interior design. However, window glass has taken a long journey to get to its current level of versatility and sophistication. Here is a brief look back at the history of window glass:

The Origin of Window Glass
For the vast majority of human history, glass windows did not exist. While the earliest windows were simply holes in the wall, there is evidence that people also used paper and animal skins to cover windows and provide relief from heat or other climatic conditions. Glass windows first came into use during the days of the Roman Empire; however, they were only partially transparent and extremely expensive.

Window Glass in the Middle Ages
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, glass making became a lost art. It wasn’t until the Middle Ages that glass windows once again became prominent. In the 14th century, the French developed a method for making glass, known as crown glass. Although the Middle Ages saw a proliferation of glass-making techniques, glass windows were still very expensive and only available for the wealthy.

Glass in the Modern Era
From the Middle Ages onward, glass windows exploded in popularity. As more techniques for shaping glass were discovered, the cost of glass windows decreased. The famous Palace of Versailles in France represented a culmination of advances in glass making technology. In 1851, the Crystal Palace in England took glass windows to the next level, and paved the way for the skyscrapers of today.

Understanding the long history of glass windows can give anyone an appreciation for glass’ beauty and importance. If you want to learn more about how glass windows are made today, call Wallside Windows at (313) 908-5243. We’ll gladly install sophisticated and energy-efficient windows throughout your home.