I'm learning the art (or is it a craft?) of stained glass. At this weblog, I record progress, note useful links, and document flesh wounds.
The Art League
Weisser Glass Studio
Virginia Stained Glass Co.
Glass Galleries Links List
The StoreFinder: Stained Glass Store Front
Nancy's Beginner Tips and Tricks
Splinter Removal Tips
Beaded Unity Candle
Green Tiered Lamp
November 03, 2002: Back to the Future
The National Park Service has a division called Heritage Preservation Services which "helps our nation's citizens and communities identify, evaluate, protect and preserve historic properties for future generations of Americans." They put out a series of publications called Preservation Tech Notes "intended for practitioners in the preservation field, including architects, contractors, and maintenance personnel, as well as for owners and developers seeking the preservation tax investment credit for rehabilitation." A few of these are online. One is entitled "Historic Glass: Repair and Reproduction of Prismatic Glass Transoms."
Introduced in the 1890s, prismatic glass transoms were a popular and practical means of directing daylight into building interiors. With origins in sidewalk vault lights and glass panels used on ship decks, prismatic tiles had ridges or other raised patterns on their inside surface that refracted sunlight toward the rear of a building. The pressed tiles were usually joined together with zinc or lead in a process similar to that used to create stained glass windows. An alternative, less common approach was to bond the tiles to copper strips during immersion in an electrolytic bath, a process known as electroglazing. At the peak of popularity, over a dozen manufacturers offered varying tile patterns - each "scientifically designed" to increase natural light levels and thereby reduce reliance upon light wells and artificial light sources. Prismatic glass tiles were used both in new construction and to update existing storefronts, until changing tastes and the dominance of electricity led to their functional obsolescence by the 1930s.
Really smart stuff. "The dominance of electricity" shows no signs of abating, but the world has come a long way in increased environmental consciousness since the 1930s, and I wonder if someone, somewhere, hasn't had the thought that prismatic transoms and windows are more energy-efficient than standard electric lighting and a hell of a lot lower-maintenance than solar-powered lighting of any kind.
Posted by Michelle on November 03, 2002 09:19 PM
Copyright © 2002-06 Michelle Kinsey Bruns. E-mail me at my first name at this domain. (Take that, spam spiders!)