Exploring The Origins Of The Sash Window In The UK

Originally posted 2010-08-31 07:57:53. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The origins of the sash window are believed to be in England in the 1670′s. This style of window and method of operation has retained its popularity since that era, both in restoration of historic homes and in new construction.

This style, a major innovation that differed greatly from earlier casement windows, is generally credited to a a major scientist and inventor, Robert Hooke. Hooke was an industrious man who coined the term ‘cell’ for the living units of biology he observed with a homemade microscope, discovered many principles of the law of gravity, designed some of London’s most historic buildings, and surveyed much of London after the Great Fire of 1666. He also studied the properties of glass and invented a balance spring which allowed for the watch to be created.

It is easy to match the sash window with the interests of this industrious man, who was very influential in the rebuilding of London after the Great fire of 1666 and was also the architect of some principal buildings. This style consists of one or more movable panels, with a weight, cord, and pulley system to defy the pull of gravity, and a framework of muntins, or wooden strips, to allow small panes of glass to be united in a panel, or sash.

Over time, sash windows made of wood will loosen in their frames, as continual opening and shutting wears the jambs and tracks, and the wood itself expands and contracts with the changing seasonal temperatures and shows the effects of weather. Older windows may rattle in the wind and let air leak in or out around the joints. They also may refuse to open as paint builds up in the seams, or refuse to stay pushed up when the sash cords get brittle and break with age.

Glazing is simply a term for a transparent panel, so single glazing is using one layer of glass (or in modern times plastic) which may consist of many panes in a framework of wooden strips called muntins. Double glazed windows consist of two panels in a frame, with an air layer in between for extra insulation from temperature and noise.

The sash window has not been changed much over the years, although single glazing has often given way to double and even triple glazing for energy efficiency. Glazing is a term for a transparent panel in a wall; single means one thickness, while double and triple glazing simply fist more than one panel in a frame, with air spaces in between.

The origins of the sash window in England may account for its popularity in other areas which were once English colonies.

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