Editors' Picks: Old-House Glass

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On modern homes, window glass seems to serve the single purpose of insulating the home from the outdoors, preferably as efficiently as possible. And while shelter has always been the primary function of glass, in eras past, it served many other roles within a house: framing a perfect view, conferring privacy, adding character. This week, we're taking a look back at the many forms and functions of old-house glass, from the inventive ways it's been used to enhance architecture and décor, to a step-by-step primer on saving leaded glass.

With top-heavy windows, muntins didn't have to be elaborate, as the simple 4/1 pattern of these modern windows shows.

Guide to 20th-Century Windows: At the turn of the 20th century, window designs took off in new directions to fit the cutting-edge houses of the day.

A Look at Figured Glass: Figured glass added beauty, light, and privacy to houses by fusing form and function.

How To Repair Leaded Glass: Learn to repair your home's old leaded glass by following along with a fearless DIYer.

New This Week

An Opulent Queen Anne: Jim Stout is an antiques collector—and an old-house detective. He’s learned so much about this Victorian, you’d swear was a time capsule of the era.

Cabinets in the butler's pantry are filled according to the journals of the original owner: stemware on the right, china on the left

Primroses in the Old-House Garden: These diverse little stalwarts perform throughout the growing season.

Bungalow Kitchen, Plain & Simple: Against the backdrop of many original features, these homeowners were playful with color in their tidy bungalow kitchen.

Products & Services Directory

Full Restoration Glass®, approximately $105 per 24" x 36" sheet
From Bendheim Restoration Glass


If you can clearly make out each leaf in your yard, or the next door neighbor's house is composed of straight lines, your windows probably aren't historically accurate. If you want your home to be period perfect down to the details, Full Restoration glass® is more distorting and accurately represents much of the glass made in the 17th and 18th centuries (pictured on left). They also offer Light Restoration Glass®, which is slightly less distorting, for 19th and early 20th century homes.

View all Reproduction Windows in the Products & Services Directory.


Check out the Old-House bookstore for more great deals!

Working Windows: A Guide to the Repair and Restoration of Wood Windows
Price: $16.95
Purchase now!
Repair hints, easy ways to clean and restore hardware, stripping, refinishing, painting, glass cleaning, disassembling and repairing are just some of the topics you will find in this must have window repair book.

Editors' Picks

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A pendant light over the door adds a stately touch to the ubiquitous Victorian porch; Brass Light Gallery’s London Lantern mimics the design of 19th-century streetlights.

Brass Light Gallery

Interior and exterior architectural lighting for your home and garden, in styles from Victorian to '30s Modern. Select from 15 finish options. Made in USA since 1974. They also have a vintage/antique lighting department, and offer expert restoration services.


Unico System

A central heating and cooling system using "aspiration" technology to warm and cool homes evenly and quietly with flexible small ducts that weave through ceilings, walls, and even floors.