The ancient Romans were the first to use glass in the construction of “windows.” Glass, however, which was not mounted in movable sashes, but was integrated directly into the frame of the window. A kind of “fixed glass.”
The opening, therefore, was certainly closed to illuminate the room, protecting it from cold and rain, but in fact, no air exchange was allowed.
It was not until industrial production in the 19th century that “hardware” as we understand it today, the fundamental element of glass window construction, was developed.
In the 1800s deadbolts and espagnolettes for windows were made of cast iron and installed exposed on the sash, this until the early 20th century when the evolution of openings introduced the tilt and turn system. This system, with numerous pivots and hinges applied to the frames and sashes of the window frame, made the opening itself quite complex.
In the 1920s several companies, such as Siegenia, began producing small, simple steel latches and, later, the first window handles.
In 1937 the German Wilhelm Frank built a hardware with which all the mechanisms needed to operate a sash could be controlled by a single handle, allowing both tilt and turn opening.
But it was not until after World War II, in the 1950s, that the first industrialized types of hardware operable by a single handle were developed.
In 1954, Siegenia introduced to the market the side-mounted hardware with the possibility of being installed indifferently on the right or left sash, and the following year began the production of tilt-and-turn hardware models fully integrated into the frame.
In 1958 the first slotted ventilation system for windows and doors activated by means of a lever or a pull rod is introduced to the market.
The evolution of hardware in the 1980s expanded product types with the introduction of hardware for lift and slide windows, large windows and balcony doors, and the application of sound-insulated ventilators.
Since the late 1980s, increasing attention to protection against intrusion into homes through windows has led to the development of anti-intrusion hardware, with the implementation of mushroom-headed pawls, capable of ensuring an extremely solid connection between the sash and frame when closing.
In 2000, electronics also evolved the opening and closing systems, often automatic, of windows by integrating the “system” to the home automation of the house.
Thanks to wi-fi connectivity and dedicated apps, it is now possible to close and lock windows, shades and curtains, manage intrusion alarms and home heating-cooling functions at the touch of a button or the swipe of a smartphone.