Window Technology Throughout History

Globe As time changes, so does technology. Spanning from the dawn of civilization to modern times, window design has changed leaps and bounds in performance and style. In this post we take a a brief recap of history’s greatest breakthroughs in window design.

Native Americans Before the Europeans colonized the States, the Native Americans had their own technology and way of life. Known for utilizing the Earth's elements to their full potential, Native Americans’ makeshift version of what we consider a “window pane” was a strip of animal hide. This may not have provided the same type of insulation as low-e glass, but it nonetheless added insulation and defended against weather disturbances.

Renaissance Era By the time of the Renaissance (roughly spanning the 14-17th centuries), artists began to design windows in unseen ways. Unlike windows of the past, these employed a noticeably intricate craft that paid high attention to shape, size, and detail; a prime example of this is the now-famous French casement window which came from this era.

Byzantine Empire The Byzantines were a civilization of people scattered across countries ranging from North Africa to those along the Mediterranean sea. The Byzantines took special attention to constructing windows that were not only functional, but aesthetically pleasing as well. In addition to using actual glass to enclose their windows, the Byzantines used frames constructed out of marble, which were revolutionary for their time due to their eclectic color patterns and sharp look.

The Romans Along with signs of developed irrigation systems, Roman history sported highly-advanced technologies for its day. Among its most accomplished creations was the glazed window. At this time, glazed windows offered state-of-the-art insulation that were treasured as a luxury good amongst the wealthiest members of society.

Ancient Asia In the days of Ancient Asia, they didn’t have the mechanics of contemporary replacement windows and instead resorted to filling theirs with none other than paper.