Entering the 20th century, Arts & Crafts homes kept the favorite double-hung windows, occasionally with a multi-paned upper sash, in addition to casement windows. But the elaborate trimming of the former home designs was gone in favor of horizontal woodwork that was in keeping with the growing aesthetic for simplicity.

But in 1890, manufacturers began making polished steel for windows.

Although commonly used for commercial and apartment buildings, the streamlined appearance of metal windows also was a natural match for Art Deco, Moderne, and worldwide style homes, where long spans of windows frequently punctuated the exteriors. Casements were the preferred type for residential windows, with a number of panes of rectangular glass–a style that became popular among romantic Tudor homes also. Metal windows turned into such a competitive choice in this period that wood dividers mimicking their design were made, but with the coming of the aluminum window in the 1950s, they fell from favor.

A last option in the growth of windows was the jalousie window. With flat panes of glass set in a track that opened and shut them with a crank mechanism, jalousies were utilized on mid-century houses in areas with mild climates because they supplied ventilation during the whole window; sometimes they’re only found in certain rooms (think Florida rooms).

Windows–whatever their first variety–are more than only a way to permit light and atmosphere into insides–they’re an essential part of the architectural design of the homes they adorn. Next time, rather than looking through your window, take time to look at it.

Opening in the wall of a building for the admission of air and light; windows are arranged for the purposes of decoration. Since ancient times, the openings are filled with stone, wooden, or iron grilles or lights (panes) of glass or other translucent material like mica or, in the Far East, newspaper. Modern windows are almost always full of glass, though a few use translucent plastic. A window at a vertically sliding framework is called a sash window: a single-hung sash has just 1 half which moves; at a double-hung sash, both parts slide. A casement window (q.v.) opens sideward onto a hinge.

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