Glass windows were first used by the Italians; but in the time of William Rufus they were introduced into one or two palaces and churches in England. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth they were so rare a possession that the Earl of Northumberland, who owned some, carried them about from palace to palace as portable furniture. They were not usual in ordinary dwelling-houses until the reign of Queen Anne.
In 1695 the "Window Tax" was levied on all houses which contained more than six windows, and were worth more than £5 per annum. It was much objected to in the days of Pitt, and abolished in 1851, the " Inhabited House Duty " taking its place.
CROWN or SHEET GLASS is used for ordinary house windows, and is much thinner, costing 4d. per foot.
For conservatory and hall doors there are many fanciful designs, amongst them being the following : Morocco, Oceanic, Shell, Quilted, Murranese, Rippled, Kaleidoscope, Arabesque, and Checquered. Plain coloured glass in blue, amber, ruby, or green tints may be bought at 1/- per foot: the coloured "Rolled Cathedral" is of a better quality; "Rolled," "Fluted," or " Corrugated" glass is used in skylights and for roofs; "Wired Rolled" glass is proof against stone-throwing.
Windows were formerly made by heating horn to a jelly, and making it into thin sheets, which kept out the cold and admitted a moderate degree of light. In some cases oiled paper was used as a substitute.
1. Choose a time when the sun is not shining; for if the sun shines on a wet window, no amount of rubbing will prevent it from being streaky when dry; also avoid a frosty day, as the glass then easily breaks.
2. Thoroughly dust the window inside and outside, and wash the woodwork.
4. Dry with a clean duster, avoiding one which would leave the glass linty.
5. Polish with a cotton duster, a leather, or pads of newspaper.
Leather rings, composed of scraps of chamois leather, and costing about 6 1/2d. each, may be purchased for this purpose; but they soon become hard, and are then apt to produce scratches.
When cleaning the outside of a window from the inside, spread a cloth over the paper below the sill to prevent marking it with the heels. No one should sit thus to clean the outside of windows on the upper storeys, as in this way many terrible accidents have occurred. Either window-cleaners should be employed or a window-cleaning chair be used.
Dip a soft cotton cloth first in methylated spirit, then in whiting, and rub the glass well, inside and outside. Polish when dry with another cloth and paper. The disadvantage of this mode is that the whiting is rather apt to fall about, producing a white dust.
These should either be treated by the last-mentioned method, or simply by a pad of newspaper dipped in tepid water, then dried, and polished with dry newspaper. Printer's ink is very effectual in removing marks of any sort.
Dab the glass care-fully and evenly with a lump of putty until the surface is uniformly covered. For temporary purposes, Epsom salts may be dissolved in water and applied freely; but moisture soon spoils the effect.
Felt stopping may be bought in 6-foot lengths for 10d.; but old felt answers the purpose quite well. This should be held in place by a small wooden beading ( 1/2d. per foot), which may be stained or painted to correspond with the surrounding woodwork. Rubber draught-stopping may be bought for the same purpose, but it soon perishes, becomes hard and shrinks.
These may be silenced by wooden wedges; but probably a pair of rubber wheels fastened to the window frame by screws through their centres, so that they revolve when the sash is raised or lowered, are better, though not so permanent.