Looking at the modern designs and applications of windows today, you might not guess that they actually have a rather ancient history. In fact, evidence from murals and bas reliefs indicate that they were first invented in the time of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. Not only did these ancient cultures have their own designs for windows, they also had their own window installation processes.
Arguably the most important innovation in the history of windows is the development of the mass production of glass.
Back in Ancient Egypt, windows were simply openings that were created out of the stone of the structure, which were then covered with mattings. Later on in the Far East, they used paper windows as well as wooden shutters to get the job done.
Obviously, the main setback of this was that there was little visibility, a problem that glass windows would quickly solve. While Romans had been using glass windows since 100 AD, it was not until further advancements in glassmaking technology before glass windows quickly took over all other kinds of windows in the 17th century. As the Industrial Revolution rolled around, they quickly became the only viable kind of window in the West thanks to their superior ability to light up rooms and shield against elements at the same time.
Considering the difference in material, window installation methods also had to adapt. All sorts of window types emerged to suit different needs, such as the casement window, fixed window, single and double-hung sash windows, bay window, and more. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes with different ways of opening, and can be placed on different parts of the wall.
More intricate and complex types of windows require meticulous attention to detail in the window installation process. An example would be stained glass windows, which, back in the day, may have required multiple assembly and installations per window.
Today, both window design and window installation have been greatly simplified to prioritize functionality for the modern home. However, creative homeowners and architects are still finding ways to use windows to beautify homes. After all, if windows are the eyes to your home, they need to make an impression.
At HTR Windows and Doors, we find the long history of windows and window installation to be incredibly fascinating. These developments inform our work and help us appreciate the great technology we have today.