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medieval window screens

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  • Cynthia J Ley
    Hi all. Was watching a medeivaloid movie today and it occurred to me that those windows which open are usually shown just opening, letting bugs and whatever
    Message 1 of 13 , Jul 3, 2004
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      Hi all. Was watching a medeivaloid movie today and it occurred to me that
      those windows which open are usually shown just opening, letting bugs and
      whatever in.

      Was window screening ever used? It wouldn't be that far a reach to put a
      gauze or loose weave linen over a window if you could afford the fabric.

      Arlys



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    • Wanda Pease
      Interesting question. I truly doubt that there was anything to be put over the windows except shutters (they can be closed with the glass open and provide air
      Message 2 of 13 , Jul 4, 2004
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        Interesting question. I truly doubt that there was anything to be put over
        the windows except shutters (they can be closed with the glass open and
        provide air flow), when they were open When I was in Germany in the 70's and
        80's they didn't have window screening of any type except the lovely lace
        curtains at the doors and windows. Certainly my friend's 1550 farm house
        had none, and nothing looking like they might have. Same with the 1600
        parsonage (wrong word, but the minister's house) in England. One of my
        neighbors said that putting screens on was a sure sign that an American
        lived there. It was like putting dark glasses on the house! :-)

        Not quite the same, but in the Netherlands you could usually see inside the
        houses all day because they had the curtains open. It was considered to be
        a sign of a slovenly housewife to have them drawn except during a funeral.
        You were saying that the house wasn't clean enough for people to look
        inside! House Proud I think we call it (grin)

        Regina
        sitting with the blinds drawn having just re-screened the front door!)
        -----Original Message-----
        From: Cynthia J Ley [mailto:cley@...]
        Sent: Saturday, July 03, 2004 9:14 PM
        To: Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com
        Cc: Cley@...
        Subject: [Authentic_SCA] medieval window screens


        Hi all. Was watching a medeivaloid movie today and it occurred to me that
        those windows which open are usually shown just opening, letting bugs and
        whatever in.

        Was window screening ever used? It wouldn't be that far a reach to put a
        gauze or loose weave linen over a window if you could afford the fabric.

        Arlys




        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Talia
        ... ... Actually, there was. Oiled/greased cloth was used, as well as scraped-paper-thin rawhide stretched over the window frames. The
        Message 3 of 13 , Jul 4, 2004
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          > Interesting question. I truly doubt that there was anything to be put over
          > the windows except shutters (they can be closed with the glass open and
          > provide air flow), when they were open When I was in Germany in
          <<much snippage>>
          > Regina
          > sitting with the blinds drawn having just re-screened the front door!)


          Actually, there was. Oiled/greased cloth was used, as well as
          scraped-paper-thin rawhide stretched over the window frames. The rawhide
          wouldn't have allowed much in the way of air circulation, but both the cloth
          and the hide would have let plenty of light in while keeping insects out.

          Talia
        • Wanda Pease
          I suspect these were winter solutions to the no glass/no light problems since both the German farm house and the English cottage got very warm during the
          Message 4 of 13 , Jul 4, 2004
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            I suspect these were winter solutions to the no glass/no light problems
            since both the German farm house and the English cottage got very warm
            during the summer and you wanted all the air flow you could get!. However,
            you have a very good point that solutions did exist! I was postulating
            backwards from today, or at least the 80's.

            As I said this is an interesting question, and I bet the answer varied from
            country to country. I'll be interested to see any other answers!

            Thanks,

            Regina
            -----Original Message-----
            From: Talia [mailto:talia@...]
            Sent: Sunday, July 04, 2004 10:45 AM
            To: Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: RE: [Authentic_SCA] medieval window screens


            > Interesting question. I truly doubt that there was anything to be put
            over
            > the windows except shutters (they can be closed with the glass open and
            > provide air flow), when they were open When I was in Germany in
            <<much snippage>>
            > Regina
            > sitting with the blinds drawn having just re-screened the front door!)


            Actually, there was. Oiled/greased cloth was used, as well as
            scraped-paper-thin rawhide stretched over the window frames. The rawhide
            wouldn't have allowed much in the way of air circulation, but both the
            cloth
            and the hide would have let plenty of light in while keeping insects out.

            Talia




            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Chris Laning
            ... Two other factors to consider: human tolerance, and difference in hemispheres. Friends of mine have remarked, after visiting England in particular, that
            Message 5 of 13 , Jul 4, 2004
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              At 11:21 AM -0700 7/4/04, Wanda Pease wrote:
              >I suspect these were winter solutions to the no glass/no light problems
              >since both the German farm house and the English cottage got very warm
              >during the summer and you wanted all the air flow you could get!. However,
              >you have a very good point that solutions did exist!

              Two other factors to consider: human tolerance, and difference in hemispheres.

              Friends of mine have remarked, after visiting England in particular,
              that you don't _need_ window screens over there as much as in the
              U.S. because there are not the constant swarms of biting insects --
              mosquitos, gnats, blackflies, et cetera.The main insect invaders in
              houses, therefore, tend to be house flies and wasps, which are bigger
              and fewer. Remedies like flypaper and keeping food covered do help
              with those.

              (I can also testify from personal experience that biting insects are
              much less of a problem in California than in the Eastern U.S. -- I
              wouldn't dream of trying to sleep outdoors without a mosquito net in
              a Maine summer, but I've never bothered with one out here.)

              Also, when easy remedies for uncomfortable or annoying conditions
              hadn't been invented yet, people may have been more willing to put up
              with them. My mother always hated to be "drafted" as a teenager to
              help her grandmothers with the fruit canning, because there they were
              in the height of summer, voluntarily spending the day in an even
              hotter, and very steamy, kitchen. She says everyone just assumed that
              hot and sticky was how one felt in the summer, and got on with the
              job.
              --
              _________________________________________________________
              O (Lady) Christian de Holacombe
              | Chris Laning <claning@...>
              + Shire of Windy Meads - Davis, California
              _________________________________________________________
            • Dianne & Greg Stucki
              ... Which would explain why every TV show and movie I ve ever seen (check out that hyperbole!) has shown windows with no screens, and yet, living in Michigan
              Message 6 of 13 , Jul 5, 2004
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                > (I can also testify from personal experience that biting insects are
                > much less of a problem in California than in the Eastern U.S. -- I
                > wouldn't dream of trying to sleep outdoors without a mosquito net in
                > a Maine summer, but I've never bothered with one out here.)


                Which would explain why every TV show and movie I've ever seen (check out
                that hyperbole!) has shown windows with no screens, and yet, living in
                Michigan and now PA, I've never HAD a window that didn't have screening!

                Laurensa
              • Cynthia J Ley
                Western Oregon has tons of mosquitos in the summer, as well as gnats and no-see-ums. A lot of the area is a wetland--there s a reason they call my part of An
                Message 7 of 13 , Jul 5, 2004
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                  Western Oregon has tons of mosquitos in the summer, as well as gnats and
                  no-see-ums. A lot of the area is a wetland--there's a reason they call my
                  part of An Tir "Rivers." ;) Screens are a necessity.

                  Arlys


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                • bronwynmgn@aol.com
                  In a message dated 7/4/2004 12:34:42 PM Eastern Standard Time, Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com writes:
                  Message 8 of 13 , Jul 5, 2004
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                    In a message dated 7/4/2004 12:34:42 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                    Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com writes:

                    <<Was window screening ever used? It wouldn't be that far a reach to put a
                    gauze or loose weave linen over a window if you could afford the fabric.>>

                    Yeah, but I don't know how well it would hold up. I have heard of using
                    oiled...something - was it paper or parchment or fabric - that would let in light,
                    but it would probably block most of the breezes as well as bugs.

                    Of course, then, there is also the possibility that the preoccupation with
                    the odd bug flying through the house being a bad thing is entirely modern...I
                    know that things like Le Menagier de Paris do contain instructions for how to
                    deal with certain bugs, but it usually seems to be bedbugs or fleas...

                    Brangwayna
                  • Willow Polson
                    ... As a lifelong CA resident, every CA house I ve ever lived in has had windowscreens (except that lovely Victorian, but then we just got the framed kind you
                    Message 9 of 13 , Jul 5, 2004
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                      At 06:08 AM 7/5/2004 -0400, you wrote:
                      >Which would explain why every TV show and movie I've ever seen (check out
                      >that hyperbole!) has shown windows with no screens, and yet, living in
                      >Michigan and now PA, I've never HAD a window that didn't have screening!

                      As a lifelong CA resident, every CA house I've ever lived in has had
                      windowscreens (except that lovely Victorian, but then we just got the
                      framed kind you place in an open window. I suspect that the reason the TV
                      shows and movies don't usually have window screens is because you can't
                      film through them, just like the absence of rear view mirrors in movie
                      cars. TV and movies aren't real.

                      - Willow (Hollywood is just a bunch of regular people, trust me) MacPherson

                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                      Rev. Willow Polson www.willowsplace.com
                      Give my Pagan Paradise Live365 Radio Station a listen!
                      http://www.live365.com/cgi-bin/directory.cgi?autostart=willowpolson
                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                    • wodeford
                      ... I just came home from an event site that was rife with ants. After watching a procession around my groundcloth, I left an empty but unrinsed beverage
                      Message 10 of 13 , Jul 5, 2004
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                        --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, Chris Laning <claning@i...>
                        wrote:
                        > Remedies like flypaper and keeping food covered do help
                        > with those.

                        I just came home from an event site that was rife with ants. After
                        watching a procession around my groundcloth, I left an empty but
                        unrinsed beverage bottle lying on its side in a corner OFF the
                        ground cloth. It amused the ants and kept them from dancing bransles
                        on everything else inside the tent.

                        Jehanne de Wodeford
                      • Dianne & Greg Stucki
                        ... From: Willow Polson ... They re not? Oh, darn. ;-) What I meant was (besides the fact that you can t have a character climbing
                        Message 11 of 13 , Jul 6, 2004
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                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: "Willow Polson" <willow@...>
                          > As a lifelong CA resident, every CA house I've ever lived in has had
                          > windowscreens (except that lovely Victorian, but then we just got the
                          > framed kind you place in an open window. I suspect that the reason the TV
                          > shows and movies don't usually have window screens is because you can't
                          > film through them, just like the absence of rear view mirrors in movie
                          > cars. TV and movies aren't real.

                          They're not? Oh, darn. ;-)

                          What I meant was (besides the fact that you can't have a character climbing
                          in or out of a screened window, at least not easily) was that people tend to
                          think of things in the way that is most common to them. To someone who
                          doesn't normally use screens, they wouldn't think to put them in. To me, the
                          absence of them is jarring/
                          >
                          > - Willow (Hollywood is just a bunch of regular people, trust me)
                          MacPherson

                          My oldest and dearest friend who introduced me to the SCA is an aspiring
                          screenwriter. If he is at all typical, trust me, they ain't regular people!!
                          lol

                          Laurensa
                        • Willow Polson
                          ... LOL ... Picky picky picky! heehee.... you know what I mean. 8-) - Willow (love playing D&D with a film teacher and 2nd AD, he s nutty) MacPherson
                          Message 12 of 13 , Jul 6, 2004
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                            At 06:30 AM 7/6/2004 -0400, you wrote:
                            >TV and movies aren't real.
                            >
                            >They're not? Oh, darn. ;-)

                            LOL

                            >My oldest and dearest friend who introduced me to the SCA is an aspiring
                            >screenwriter. If he is at all typical, trust me, they ain't regular people!!
                            >lol

                            Picky picky picky! heehee.... you know what I mean. 8-)

                            - Willow (love playing D&D with a film teacher and 2nd AD, he's nutty)
                            MacPherson

                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                            Rev. Willow Polson www.willowsplace.com
                            Give my Pagan Paradise Live365 Radio Station a listen!
                            http://www.live365.com/cgi-bin/directory.cgi?autostart=willowpolson
                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                          • Elizabeth Walpole
                            ... From: Talia To: Sent: Monday, July 05, 2004 3:45 AM Subject: RE: [Authentic_SCA] medieval window
                            Message 13 of 13 , Jul 6, 2004
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                              ----- Original Message -----
                              From: "Talia" <talia@...>
                              To: <Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com>
                              Sent: Monday, July 05, 2004 3:45 AM
                              Subject: RE: [Authentic_SCA] medieval window screens


                              > > Interesting question. I truly doubt that there was anything to be put
                              over
                              > > the windows except shutters (they can be closed with the glass open and
                              > > provide air flow), when they were open When I was in Germany in
                              > <<much snippage>>
                              > > Regina
                              > > sitting with the blinds drawn having just re-screened the front door!)
                              >
                              >
                              > Actually, there was. Oiled/greased cloth was used, as well as
                              > scraped-paper-thin rawhide stretched over the window frames. The rawhide
                              > wouldn't have allowed much in the way of air circulation, but both the
                              cloth
                              > and the hide would have let plenty of light in while keeping insects out.
                              >
                              > Talia

                              But to my knowledge oilcloth etc. was used as substitutes for glass not as
                              screening to go over the glass windows. In England (and most of Europe to my
                              knowledge) today fly screens are very uncommon as there is very little
                              problem with bugs flying in.
                              Elizabeth
                              ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              ----
                              Elizabeth Beaumont Elizabeth Walpole
                              Politarchopolis, Lochac Canberra Australia
                              ewalpole@...

                              People are like stained glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun
                              is out, but when the darkness sets in ,their true beauty is revealed only if
                              there is light from within.
                              Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

                              The years that a woman subtracts from her age are not lost. They are added
                              to the ages of other women.
                              Diane de Poitiers (1499-1566) Attrib.
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