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The Ye Olde Double Hung Window in America

The wide spread use of the “Double Hung“window in the United Kingdom, and subsequently, the United States can be traced to the Great London Fire of 1666 and its aftermath.  In the early morning hours of Thursday, September 6, 1666 the Great Fire of London starts near the London Bridge, on Pudding Lane,  in the house of King Charles II's baker  - Thomas Farrinor.  For over three days the fire rages, burning over 2/3 of medieval London and claiming more than 13,000 homes and over 80 churches. Miraculously, only 16 people were known killed.  

The task of rebuilding the city was left in the hands of a noble 34 year old architect, Sir Christopher Wren (n.b. St. Pauls Cathedral)  As the "Kings Surveyor of Works,"  Wren spent the following years overseeing the re-building of New London.  Aided with the wide-spread use of a new inexpensive cast iron, (lead in some cases) windows were installed with weights to counter-balance the sash,  Subsequently, windows could be easily lifted and incrementally closed depending on the ever changing English climate. The double-hung window quickly grew to become the window standard for buildings and homes in England and subsequently their colonies.

An interesting note, The cost of re-building St. Paul's Cathedral was met with great consternation by many frugal Londoners, tired of the Civil Wars and the cost of the fire.  When it was learned that much of the money to finance the re-building was being transferred from  funds to Westminster Abbey (Also known as St. Peters)  the feeling was loud and boisterous.  The  crown and the church were effectively "Stealing from Peter to pay Paul." 

Today, energy efficiency and window restoration are no longer mutually exclusive.  The mission at The Weatherstrip is to provide the business enterprise, home owner and DIY'er a practical and pragmatic resource for home restoration and energy conservation. 


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