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Windows in the Victorian Era

In the 19th century, glass production advancements made a massive impact on property construction.  These advancements resulted in less demand for sash windows and the rise of Victorian windows that are characterized by their distinct “two over two panel” design.

Sash windows are made of one or more movable panels, or “sashes”, that form a frame to hold panes of glass.  These sashes are separated by glazing bars.  The advancements in glass production allowed Victorian windows to do away with the glazing bars.  As glass designs continued to get heavier, sash horns were added for structural support, which became a hallmark of Victorian window style.

Before the rise of various technological advancements, traditional Victorian windows were primarily made of either softwood or hardwood timber materials, such as mahogany, cherry or pine, as well as copper, iron, and other materials. At present, Victorian-inspired windows can be indistinguishably replicated using either uPVC or aluminum materials.

During the Victorian period, the most common width for windows was approximately 4 feet, with the width being shorter than the height.  Classical construction valued window proportion balanced with the overall aesthetic of the building exterior.  Victorian design perceives windows as an element that adds value to a property, without compromising the overall aesthetic of the home.

Window cleaning during the Victorian period was considered to be a laborious and time-consuming task since it involved cleaning an enormous number of sash windows.  The number of windows was an indicator of the wealth of the homeowner. Window cleaning was often carried out by housewives of normal-sized homes, or by servants of large houses.

The procedure of window cleaning during the Victorian period involved the use of hot water placed in a metal bucket, accompanied by a cleaning cloth. In some cases, people would incorporate vinegar in order to add a little bit of shine and to remove stubborn grease on the surface of the sash windows. Then after the cleaning process, the windows would be left open in order to let the pungent smell of the vinegar out.  Also, newspapers were typically used to buff the surface of the glass, since newspaper in that era contained a particular ingredient that helped in eliminating greasy smears.

Well, we sure have come a long way in the window cleaning world.  According to the experts at Sudbury Window Cleaning, housewives, servants, vinegar, and newspapers are no longer used in the cleaning of residential windows.  Instead, they employ good old fashioned elbow grease and the right tools for the job, to prevent damage to your windows and to preserve their long life.  You can read all about modern era window cleaning on their website,

In conclusion, Victorian homeowners placed a great value on the appearance and quantity of windows on their property, as they considered it an indication of their wealth.  The old method of cleaning these windows involved servants using a vinegar-based cleaning solution and newspaper to cut through the grease and dirt on the windows.  We love the look of Victorian windows, but we’re very thankful for modern window cleaning practices.

Dental care in the Victorian era

Most of us cringe at the thought of going to the dentist, sometimes, for even just a rudimentary procedure. We don’t like needles poking our gums or the painful reaction of a dentist touching a very sensitive tooth. Yet we can draw some comfort from the fact that dentistry has come a long way since the Victorian era of the 1800s and early 1900s.

Back in Victorian times, there was no such thing as a dentist. You either went to see a barber or a blacksmith who doubled as a kind of “dental surgeon.” Methods of dealing with decaying teeth pretty much came down to having them pulled out, with no pain medication and no anesthetic. Patients suffered in agony as they were often held down or strapped down by an assistant to limit any squirming by the patient that could inhibit the work of the barber or blacksmith.

For most of the 1800s and into the early 1900s, tooth extraction was the only method of dealing with toothaches and decaying teeth. Dental care was so bad during the Victorian Era that many thousands of people died from dental treatments gone wrong. Back in the 1800s, getting a tooth removed could potentially result in death.

To try to mitigate against decaying teeth and toothaches, people living in the Victorian era would resort to dental hygiene practices such as, cleaning teeth with water and twigs and using rough cloth as a form of toothbrush to try to remove food particles and plaque. These attempts at trying to care for teeth were quite rudimentary and frequently unsuccessful. What made matters worse is that during this time period, sugar became more widely distributed, which, as expected, increased tooth decay rapidly, further compounding the problem.

Toothaches in the 1800s and 1900s were so painful that many people preferred to have an aching tooth removed. The process was painful and risky but the pain of the tooth removal was only temporary and many people preferred to take the risk and the temporary agony. Early attempts were made to use wooden teeth as dentures but the interaction of saliva with the wood only lead to eventual decay. Other methods included using teeth from dead bodies for dentures. These types of efforts at replacing damaged teeth are a far cry from modern dentures and dental implants which are common today.

Despite the lack of access to better technologies in dentistry for most people, the first university-affiliated degree program for dentistry was established at Harvard University in 1867. In 1871, Dr. Robert Tanner Freedman became the first African-American graduate to become a dentist. In the same year, Dr. James B Morrison patented the foot-treadle dental engine which was, as the name suggested, powered by the pumping action of one’s foot which then powered a drill that could effectively remove tooth decay.

So, while we may cringe at the thought of going to visit a dentist or oral surgeon, let us be thankful that we didn’t have to endure the horrible pain of botched dental procedures of the Victorian Era.

Lamp shades

We love Victorian lamp shades, especially ones that are sewn by hand.  We think Victorian lamp shades have been and remain one of the most beautiful accent decor accessories in homes today.  Their uniqueness and beauty can create a lovely ambiance for your home.

The popularity of having Victorian and Vintage styled lampshades in homes, hotels and Bed & Breakfasts has increased dramatically due to the softness and ambiance they create.  The soft lighting that emanates from Victorian Lamp shades can give a room a peaceful and romantic aura.

The beauty and warmth of Victorian Lampshades has become a requirement for many homes that crave a unique work of art that the owners have had a hand in designing.  

We firmly believe when picking the shape of your lamp shade, have it match the lamp’s contour.  For example, if the lamp base is oval with some curves, the best style of shade would be oval with curves.  If your base is bottom-heavy, try adding a Victorian shade in the shape of a cone on top of the base.