cylinder glass

Cylinder glass: 1700 -1860

Hand-made cylinder glass offers the perfect finish for period properties from the relevant era. Replacement glazing is an important investment, so the right aesthetic can be essential – especially for planning purposes.

Cylinder glass is available with both our Thin Double Glazing and our MONO single-glazing systems. Please beware of non-authentic reproduction copies of period glass: find out the benefits of real period glass.

Thickness: Varies between 2mm and 3mm within the same pane.

“The difference between a cold clinical light seen through modern float glass and a warm refracted light through early Victorian cylinder glass is profound.” –

What period does cylinder glass suit?

It’s ideal for properties dating from around 1700 to 1860, which includes the Georgian and early Victorian eras. This type of glass is the most difficult to date, as both cylinder glass and crown glass (made by blowing a sphere, opening one end and spinning it flat) were made alongside each other for a considerable time. Crown glass dominated until the late 1700s, after which it was pushed out of the market by cylinder glass.


What about using crown glass?

Unfortunately, the exact recipes and production techniques for crown glass have been lost, and genuine crown glass is no longer made. This leaves cylinder glass as the only acceptable alternative for properties built in the Georgian and Victorian periods.


What’s the history of cylinder glass?

This type of glass had been imported from France and Germany since the 1700s until production began in Britain in the mid-1800s. Improvements in technique then permitted both cost reductions and larger sheet sizes. In 1845, the abolition of the tax on glass (introduced in 1746) also meant that sash windows could contain larger – and therefore fewer – panes of glass.


How is this glass made?

Cylinder glass is handmade using traditional mouth-blowing methods. First, a cylinder of glass is blown and then scored. This allows the cylinder, on reheating, to flap open. This is then rolled to give a flat piece of glass, which is cooled slowly to toughen it and remove internal stresses.

This method of glass manufacture made larger panes possible, with better surface quality than previously achievable. The result includes light natural distortions, which are nevertheless appealing, and its ream and seed provide its distinctive characteristics.