A Mathematical and Philosphical Dictionary
, q. d. wind-door, an aperture or opening in the wall of a house, to admit the air and light.
Before the use of glass became general, which was not till towards the end of the 12th century, the Windows in England seem generally to have been composed of paper, oiled, both to defend it against the weather, and to make it more transparent; as now is sometimes used in workshops and unfinished buildings. Some of the better sort were surnished with lattices of wood or sheets of linen. These it seems were fixed in frames, called capsamenta, and hence our casements still so common in some of the counties.
The chief rules with regard to Windows are, 1. That they be as few in number, and as moderate in dimensions, as may be consistent with other respects; inasmuch as all openings are weakenings.
2. That they be placed at a convenient distance from the angles or corners of the buildings: both for strength and beauty.
3. That they be made all equal one with another, in their rank and order; so that those on the right hand may answer to those on the left, and those above be right over those below: both for strength and beanty.
As to their dimensions, care is to be taken, to give them neither more nor less than is needful; regard being had to the size of the rooms, and of the building. The apertures of Windows in middle-sized houses, may be from 4 to 5 feet; in the smaller ones less; and in large buildings more. And the height may be double their width at the least: but in lofty rooms, or large buildings, the height may be a 4th, or 3d, or half their breadth more than the double.
Such are the proportions for Windows of the first story; and the breadth must be the same in the upper stories; but as to the height, the second story may be a 3d part lower than the first, and the third story a 4th part lower than the second.