Re: Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

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Just encountered a lovely first-hand reference to the 19th century fashion, in its very infancy, of cutting out glazing bars from sashes in favour of expansive sheet glass. Suffice to say, at this early stage, the reference relates to the most prestigious building in Ireland, where major furnishing and redecoration was taking place at the same time:

October 27th 1825

To Francis Johnston Esq.

I enclose herewith […] requisitions which have been received from His Excellency the Lord Lieutenant’s Private Secretary viz.

To have the Glass taken out of the lower part of the Windows in the West Wing of the Vice Regal Lodge and to put in muffed or ground Glass in place thereof.

Estimated at: £14.2.7½

This is interesting, as we rarely hear of polished broad cylinder glass or ‘muff’ glass being used in Ireland prior to the adoption of the much better cylinder sheet glass which exploded in use here after 1850. Crown glass was actually better than muff glass in its raw state, unless it was polished or ‘ground’ as indicated above, which was expensive.

£14 in 1825 was neatly the equivalent of about £1000 sterling today. Given that the ‘west wing’ of the Viceregal Lodge in 1825 constituted only the three-bay section highlighted below, as built by Robert Woodgate in 1802, and if we presume the works were confined to the three gound floor windows, this was an expensive business – remembering labour was much cheaper than today.

Still, perhaps not as expensive as we might have imagined polished broad glass to be.

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