A Short History of the Window

history of the window

A Short History of the Window

The history of the window is one that stretches back so far that our exact starting point is impossible to pin down. Although the ancient civilisations of the world might not have used windows as we would recognise them today, people have been adding “openings” to their homes for centuries.

Here, Bingley Windows & Glass Co. Ltd have put together a very short history of the window, explaining how the concept has developed and improved over time.

The ancients

A while ago, we reviewed some of the world’s most famous windows. Among our examples in that piece is the Pantheon, which serves as an excellent representation of what a window was to people living in the many centuries BC. Despite their pioneering reputation, it wasn’t the Romans who first used these simple holes in the walls or ceiling to provide them with natural light; instead, that idea was taken much earlier.

Something the Romans were able to do, however, was to outdo their predecessors in terms of materials. Seemingly, they were the first to use glass for their windows, providing both cover and light to any inhabitants. In the Far East, people used paper, while other materials including marble and animal hide were also common alternatives.

A picture of the Roman forum

The “middle-ages” and early modern Europe

Glass windows quickly became far more common throughout Europe from as the middle ages progressed. By the time of the European Renaissance, huge stained-glass windows dominated the majority of churches; many of these works would later be destroyed by largely Protestant iconoclasts.

By the seventeenth century, people began incorporating glass windows into their homes. While not exactly a close cousin of the double-glazing commonly found throughout English homes today, these features began to resemble something a little more familiar.

A picture of a Renaissance stained-glass window

The modern-day window

There is no conclusive proof as to who first came up with the idea of double-glazing windows. Many believe that the concept originated in Germany or Switzerland during the nineteenth century, but it wasn’t until the mid 1900s that they actually entered the market. Nowadays, the majority of homes’ windows are double-glazed, but that development has been a relatively recent one.

Picture of a modern day window

The history of the window takes us from the very beginnings of known civilization to the present day, reminding us of just how far the human race has come. While we don’t offer stained-glass or animal hide windows here at Bingley Windows & Glass Co. Ltd, we are able to provide our customers with the very best in terms of modern styles.

If you’d like to hear more about the products we have on offer, please do get in touch. You can fill out one of our online contact forms, or call us on 01535 958 183. We look forward to hearing from you.

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