From Defoe to modern wooden double glazing

Wooden Double Glazing image by AVN Photo Lab

Wooden Windows image by AVN Photo Lab

For a number of British households, double glazing is as commonplace as the 35” flat screen television set and high-speed broadband access. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, double glazing rose in popularity, but its history goes back much further. Not fifty years from now, but thousands of years ago.

2000 years ago: the first people to use double glazed glass were the Romans. Though slightly different in principle to modern-day equivalents, they maintained another one which is constant throughout. That of heat retention. Roman-style double glazing was used to retain heat in public baths and similar buildings.

1719: first literary reference to double glazing, in Daniel Defoe’s Further Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.

1870 – 1880: evidence of Scottish houses having a form of double glazed windows. At around that time, similar claims were made in Germany and Switzerland. Back then, double glazing entailed the fitting of another single glazed window a few inches from the outermost window.

1930: modern-day double glazing – as we know today with two panes close together – was invented in America by C.D. Haven.

1941: C.D. Haven’s invention was taken on by the Libbey-Owens-Ford Glass Company in Toledo, Ohio. With America’s involvement in the Second World War starting that year (since Pearl Harbor), production was delayed till 1952.

1965: formation of Everest. The company begins production and installation of secondary glazing with aluminium frames. By the end of the 1970s, double glazing as we know today was available – and memorably demonstrated by the late Ted Moult on television.

The 1970s and 1980s: secondary glazing – and double glazing – became a popular form of home improvement. As well as national concerns like Everest, a number of local installers emerged, using telesales, supermarkets, and shopping precincts to sell their wares. Soon, households elected to double glaze their windows, have patio doors installed, and conservatories. Another breakthrough was the arrival of uPVC, which replaced aluminium as a common window frame material.

Today, there is more flexibility with double glazing windows than, say 50 years ago. You can get sash windows in double glazed forms. You can still get aluminium framed windows. Last but certainly not least, are wooden frames – part and parcel of our business. We think wooden frames are durable, breathable, and offer the same qualities as their uPVC equivalents. Furthermore, they work better on Listed Buildings, where white uPVC frames would undermine their splendour and period detailing.

If you have any further queries, why not give us a call on 01798 815570. Our office is open from Monday to Friday between 9am and 6pm. We shall respond to your calls as soon as possible.

Further Reading:

Chartwell Wooden Windows, 03 May 2016.

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