Old Windows and the “Shattering” of a Myth about Glass

Wonderful old windows. Image from imgwhoop.com

Wonderful old windows. Image from imgwhoop.com

Last week I attended the 100th birthday party of a heritage home here in the city. The owners were justifiably proud of the results of their work on restoring and renovating their 1915 house. As you might imagine, people who attend these kinds of events often know each other and this time was no different.

A small group of us began to talk about the benefits of preserving original windows. One of my clients and now a friend, talked about how old glass has direction. In the past, savvy window manufacturers knew to install panes of glass either vertically or horizontally. If a pane of glass was replaced, even with old glass, and the direction was wrong, it would look “off”. Check this out yourself – you will see what she meant.

Dreamy windows . image from enchantedengland.tumbler.com

Dreamy windows . image from enchantedengland.tumbler.com

That got us on to the topic of medieval windows being thicker at the bottom than at the top because glass was supposed to be a liquid that settled over hundreds of years. It turns out that this is a myth. Who knew? She sent me an article from Scientific American magazine which I have attached a link to HERE. They can explain it much better than I ever could. Another myth busted… Oh well.

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