After an exhaustive five minute search of the web, I now know that the Romans were the first to use glass windowpanes, sometime around the first century B.C. It is possible that ancient Romans designed and installed the storm windows that used to dominate my living room, except a society that gave us the Colosseum likely had a better grasp of style, longevity and customer satisfaction than to do such a thing.
As of Jan. 3, I have new windows in place of the dated versions that liberally allowed ice and wind to access my home. I went for the high-end, triple-paned models from Windows America because the price jump between the different levels was minimal, owner Mark Cibula gave a convincing pitch, and I was cold. Really cold.
Installation, including what turned out to be demolition and removal of the old windows, took the better part of the afternoon. The project was more labor- and time- intensive than expected because the old storm windows were glued in place, which is not standard practice anywhere except inside my house (glue was also used to set the kitchen faucet, also highly irregular and evil).
Two weeks in, after a few weather fluctuations, I remain very happy with my new windows. Even with the bizarre, high-speed wind gusts that churned through Sunday, the blinds inside didn’t move – which means I didn’t have to, which is a very good thing.