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Scottpat
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Much is said about glass being thinner at the top of the pane. The fact is it was installed like that. Crown glass especially, tapers in one direction due to the process that was used to produce it, but the truth is it was installed in every orientation so the left of a pane is quite likely to be thinner than the right. Glass does move but for that, a hundred years isn't much of a time frame.

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I am too lazy to look up the sources at this very moment,but after spending years working with the stuff and out of coincidence having a conversation on the very subject only hours before this thread I can assure you it is true.

The first time I'd ever heard the subject was as a kid going to the state capital and asking the tour guide why the glass in the old capital building was so wavy looking.Other than that I had taken kinetic and neon art courses at the Art Institute of Chicago where the same thing was taught,

Over the years I have referenced this many times.In the past I have owned a Neon sign business and am presently trying to develop a mixed media glass tile.

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Glass is generally treated as an amorphous solid rather than a liquid, though different views can be justified since characterizing glass as either 'solid' or 'liquid' is not an entirely straightforward matter.

Pasted this off wikipedia which is a fun easy place for quick info,but not always factual as it is comprised of many opinions that get self edited.

Have a book titled The complete Book of Creative Gass Art By Polly Rothenberg which explains on page 6 that once scoring glass separation should be achieved within a few minutes as molecules of glass will actually begin to close ranks thus not allowing a clean break.May not be liquid,but sure doe's describe flow.

Bill after looking through the internet I see that prevailing opinion is against me,but after working with it all these years I feel it is a plastic like material and can flow with heat.

The question than becomes can light act as a magnifiying glass creating enough heat to cause flow over time.

this possibility does not seem to enter the disscussion in what I am reading.

Sometimes these scientist types do not look at external factors such as this.

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I see a lot of houses 100 years old and much older in Eastern MA, and in them there's a lot of wavy glass. It is "accepted" but undocumented wisdom that the glass flows over time, but glass experts tell me that the thickness of old glass just wasn't perfectly uniform and most installers would naturally install a pane with the thicker end on the bottom.

This makes sense to me. In my experience, the original glass in house built in say, 1870 has been much wavier than the original glass in a house built in 1900, where the glass seems not to have "flowed" at all.

So, I think Chad is probably right when he points out that glass may flow over time, but it probably takes a lot longer than 100 years or so.

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Originally posted by Scottpat

I have never seen the window design that this home had. Home was built in 1890, windows are original with hand blown glass.

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Windows like that are pretty common here in town. A lot of people call them "Queen Anne" windows, because one often sees them on Queen Anne houses. The house in the picture is what some people call a "Princess Anne," because it's not big and fancy enough to be called a Queen Anne. My former boss, and founder of Old-House Journal, Clem Labine, shot steam out of his ears every time he heard the term, "Princess Anne."

I'm pretty sure that's not blown glass. It's just late 1800s glass. Don't believe everything you hear in Spring Hill.

Did you see any "bullseyes" in the glass?

WJ

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I'm not at all an expert on this but... I have done a bit of work with glass and quite a bit of reading on how glass plate was and now is made. Also have a bit of a background in chemistry & physics. And a past life of antique restoration, a lot of which involved replacing broken glass, which of course had to be replaced with "correct glass" from the period, hence the reading...

To my knowledge glass has no morphic structure at normal or anything but very high temperatures. Being a crystalline structure it is not possible for it to flow that way. Think about quartz crystals thousands of years old with nice sharp corners and points...

When glass was made in the past, as recently as the early 1900's and especially mid to late 1800's it was basically poured out on a table and rolled out "flat". When you see swirls and stuff in glass it is literally from someone troweling out the thick molten glass and working it flat. It was by no means or definition flat & uniform. Later it was successfully drawn in larger sheets and even poured between two rollers but still subject to slight waves and creases. Anything of higher quality had to be ground flat and polished. Not until late 1950's came perfection. A process of pouring the molten glass on top of a bed of molten Tin. "Float Glass" Old houses had small panes that made up larger windows because that is as big a piece as they could make with reasonable flatness.

A little light reading on the subject;

http://www.glassonline.com/infoserv/history.html

And just so you know, my wife says I don't know everything... So maybe there is proof to this Morphic theory out there. I'd like to see it.

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Hi all,

Thanks for the information. Truth be known, I just called it blown-glass as that is what I have always called it. Yes, it had several waves, lines and bubbles. I guess I should have called it Old Glass! [;)]

WJ, this was over in East Nashville off of Greenwood Ave.

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Originally posted by Scottpat

Hi all,

Thanks for the information. Truth be known, I just called it blown-glass as that is what I have always called it. Yes, it had several waves, lines and bubbles. I guess I should have called it Old Glass! [;)]

WJ, this was over in East Nashville off of Greenwood Ave.

Looks like E Nashville. Also, from the pic, it looks like somebody forgot to to flash that roof/wall joint.

FWIW, my 1914 house has a mix of wavy original glass and modern glass, which replaced broken panes. That's fairly typical of turn-of-the-century houses.

Finally, I think old-house folk might call those windows not only "Queen Anne" but also 17-over-ones."

I have heard that window glass "sags" over time and gets thicker at the bottom. I don't have a source for that, though.

WJ

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I don't know about morphic or amorphorus, but I used to be in the glass business and have cut lots of glass. When you score glass and don't break it immediatly, it is as if it was never scored. That is a fact. (immediatly may be a minute or so)

Sometimes, when removing a very old storefront, I've noticed that the old lites were thicker at the bottom, it was explained to me that the glass had settled, or sagged or whatever you want to call it. I have never seen the glass to be thicker anywhere but the bottom.

I have always considered glass as a liquid... or almost a liquid.

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I've used the term "candy glass" frequently.

Maybe incorrectly so, I don't know.

I can't remember where I got the term but maybe from my old days in Hollywood making movie sets. I think the special effects guys called it "candy glass" because the panes they put in our sets was made from sugar (to break apart easier). Close up, the stuff looked exactly like the antique glass which is being discussed in this thread.

I might have also read that term in trade mags.

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The sag is possibly caused buy certain mixtures used in the manufacturing process, such as lead which definitely does sag over time.This is documented in numerous stained glass windows.but with so much disagreement it is obvious you could make an argument for either side.

Chad I meant to say amorphic,but am used to using the term morphic resonance as related to biology

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When glass was made in the past, as recently as the early 1900's and especially mid to late 1800's it was basically poured out on a table and rolled out "flat".

While that may be true about the technology available at those dates, it doesn't apply to window glass in this country. Cylinder glass was used from 1860 until the very end of the 19th century (and even as late as 1915).

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