When Did Double Glazing Become Popular?


At Salop Glass, we’ve seen time after time that certain installations can have a dramatic effect on the habitability and quality of a building. From our experience, one that’s had the most consistent effect on a building’s liveability is the installation of double glazed windows or uPVC. 

This simple and easy installation greatly improves energy efficiency, massively improving your building’s ability to consolidate heat. It is one of the most common installations done today  – with up to 93% of UK households having had it done. But where did double uPVC come from? In this article, we’re going to answer that question. 


Modern Double Glazing

Who Invented Double Glazing? 

Unfortunately, the name of the specific inventor of uPVC has been lost to the sands of time. According to popular consciousness, it can be either traced back to Victorian Scotland or to American inventor CD Haven. 

Allegedly, because people used  to rely on fires to keep warm, Haven wanted  to develop a way of  increasing heat retention in the family home. To this end, he created a material known as ‘thermopane’. 

The truth is most likely located somewhere between these two possibilities. It’s highly likely that multiple engineers working independently came up with a solution, with Haven’s design for secondary glazing simply the most famous. 

Double Glazing in the United Kingdom

Regardless of where and who invented uPVC, it is clear that it first gained popularity in the United States, becoming popular during the 40s and 50s. It wouldn’t be until the 1970s and 1980s that the design began to take off in the United Kingdom. 

Records suggest that adoption of double glazing was a slow affair, where about 16% of homes would be fitted with double glazing. 

Originally known as the second window system, early double glazing efforts were far from the standardised system that we have today. Instead of using a pre-built frame, these early installations were done by removing parts of the existing frame (normally the rotting parts of the outer frame) and then by bolting on. 

The next development in uPVC would be aluminium double glazing, which made it easier to add a secondary pane of glass to windows, doors and conservatories,

Standardisation in the 1980s

It would not be until the mid 80s that double glazing would become standardised. It was from this point, when the aesthetics finally caught up with the energy conservation benefits, that double glazing truly took off in the United Kingdom. 

This explosion in popularity continued  throughout the 1990s until the end of the decade – where 60% of homes in the United Kingdom would have double glazing. 

Double Glazing Today

As previously mentioned, today 93% of homes have double glazing to at least some extent, and with the recent rise in heating and electricity costs we thoroughly believe that this percentage will increase. 

Double Glazing From Salop Glass

Salop Glass offer a range of double glazing in Telford, Shrewbsury and Shropshire – whether you’re looking for a window or a conservatory. As well as double glazing, we offer a range of high quality glass installations, such as conservatories and orangeries. 

For over 60 years, Salop Glass have manufactured high-quality installations, designed to increase the value of your home and to make your home more beautiful. 

Contact Salop Glass today for more information on double glazing in Shrewsbury, Shropshire and Telford or our range of products.