This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V26", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The time will come all too soon when the unhappy florist, forced by approaching winter, begins to busy himself with working in his glass. Last winter the writer had occasion to glaze a greenhouse during cold weather, and the necessities of the situation brought forth a method which I think is original and certainly a valuable one. The manner of setting generally in use is, to roll the putty out on a smooth board like pie-crust and to scrape a thin piece on to each side of the glass, which is then pressed into place. This plan will not work in cold weather as the putty will harden and much glass will be broken in putting in. This forced upon us the other plan which is as follows: Get lantern wicking at the drug store, which costs about 5 cents per ball or 25 cents per pound; mix white lead with oil to the consistency of thick cream, then measure a length of wicking, up one side, across the top, down the opposite side, and across the bottom of the sash pieces, so as to go clear around the rectangular figure formed by the inside grooves of the sash pieces.
From this pattern a number of pieces are cut and put into the paint, which will quickly penetrate into every part of the cotton; take one end of the wicking in the right hand and draw it through the thumb and fore-finger of the left hand, so as to squeeze out the superfluous paint. Now comes the most difficult part of the operation, that of laying the wicking in the grooves, for, unless care is taken the wicking will fall out as fast as you put it in. However, a little patience and you will soon "get the hang of it." To lay the glass, set a small nail at the bottom and lay on the first pane with the bottom resting against the nail. Now nail it in with four shoe nails, the top two to be I 1/4 inch from the top of the glass, to support the next pane and prevent slipping; each piece is put on in the same manner until the row is finished. The resulting roof is much better than where putty is used, as it will last for years without painting while glass set with putty should be painted every year, and also there will be no leaks if the work is well done. It is less expensive and is much quicker of execution.