Say for example you were looking to buy a house, and the sales agent told you the building had several Transom windows, would you know what they meant? Well as strange as the term is the windows themselves are actually very common, many houses in many different nations have them and the name is referring to a horizontal beam or other supporting bracket which separates a door, either an external or internal one, from a window or in some cases other openings. Houses which were built in the past twenty years, throughout western countries, such as the United States or Great Britain have seen a sharp rise in this popular structure. Which is now more common on front or rear doors as a decoration, and another method of letting natural light enter the building.
However, this is no new idea, the concept is actually hundreds of years old and dates back to times when Gothic and medieval construction went hand in hand. Before there was glass, windows would be empty gaps, sometimes with wooden beams or other forms of separation. Essentially, an early Transom window was a way to strengthen a structure, such as archways and other doors within a building. There have been a variety of uses for Transom windows throughout history, in the early 1900s, they were fitted throughout the inside of buildings in the United Kingdom, when heating would come from a single fire. Gaps made in the glass would allow for heat to enter every living space in the building. This was also a common idea shared throughout much of the world.
These days there are many reasons as to why you should use one, whether you are a contractor or a home owner looking to do some work around the house. Utilizing them on doors which lead to the outside of a building add a lot of extra natural light to the inside of the house, the same can be said for using it within a building also. Such as bedrooms and living rooms, allowing for light and heat to flow from one room to another. It is also not uncommon to use a Transom window as a decoration, a method thought to have come from Japan, where they are often used as wooden and glass panels above their sliding doors.
Transom Window Coverings
photo credit: bara-koukoug