The Evolution of the Window

30 Nov

Here at FENSA we are all about Double Glazing. In fact, we recently wrote a blog post on how a double glazed window is made and so decided for this blog post, we would go back in time and investigate: The Evolution of the Window….

As you can imagine, the earliest windows were just holes in a wall. This of course was very unsatisfactory, letting in the wind and the rain, so they became covered with animal hide, cloth, or wood to keep out the weather.

Not content with that, windows were vastly improved when wooden shutters were added that could be opened and closed. These windows, however, were either open or shut and when shut all the incoming light was lost. To alleviate this problem, windows were developed that kept the weather out but let the light in.

These included; paper windows, flattened pieces of translucent animal horn, and even plates of thinly sliced marble. Pretty inventive!

However, as you probably suspected, it was the Romans who were the first to use glass for windows in the mid first century. Whereas in England, it wasn’t until the late 17th century that glass became affordable enough to appear in the windows on a universal scale. This led to all sorts of windows being designed. The sash, casement, awning, tilt and turn, transom, louvered and skylight to name but a few!


shutterstock_105467810 window with forest



The windows we know today are only possible because of the modern way of making glass. This means they can be glazed with one large sheet of glass. Before this windows had to be glazed with smaller panes separated by glazing bars or “muntins” as they were not able to make large pieces of glass.

So from a very humble beginning as a hole in a wall, windows have evolved in to the wonderful double glazed windows of today that we take for granted in our homes and offices!

If you would like to know a double glazed window is made, just take a look at our previous blog


One Response to “The Evolution of the Window”

  1. Windows Selby December 3, 2012 at 9:40 am #

    There is also massive leaps in the thermal efficiency of modern glass, only in the last 2-3 years has it become highly efficient. Also there are now uPVC window frame systems from WHS Halo that uses two double glazed sashes hinged on one case frame to effectively give you double-double glazing!Awesome for sound and thermal efficiency. However the frames are around 200mm thick!

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