Perfect Pane

When I lead guests on my walking tours, I try to emphasize the visual detail of historic buildings in #Charleston as a clue to either how old they are or what they were used for. And with so much detail in some of the older buildings, sometimes obvious things go unnoticed, such as the differing types of windows. As Charleston was growing in the 1700’s, the double-hung window became a very popular way of lighting up a structure. But because glass at that time what still made by hand, window panes could not be made with any great size or strength, and it was the structure of the muntins that held the glass that gave a window its durability and look. A dead give-away of a pre-1800 structure are the 9 over 9(pane) and 12 over 12 windows, such as this 18th century house on Broad Street. It wasn’t until the advent of rolled glass panes by the 1820’s that bigger and stronger panes emerged, and led to larger windows that were often built floor-to-ceiling to add significantly more light. So I recommend to anyone touring Charleston, observe the number of window panes, and you will likely know from what era the house originates. Modern glass makers are quite capable of reproducing the look of old crown glass, so it is very hard from the sidewalk to tell what is old and what is not. <img.src=”Charleston Architecture” alt=”Nine Over Nine Windows”

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