Historical Uses of Transoms
Transom Highlighting Hallway

Transom windows have long been utilized as important architectural elements. Common throughout many historical styles, they are prized for their design flexibility, and depending on the desired application, can be used to provide light, ventilation, or to create unique visual appeal.

We can still see numerous examples in many older buildings where operating windows located high in a room helped to allow warm air to circulate to closed-off spaces. This worked both in the summer when it was necessary to allow hot air to escape, and in the winter when closed doors could lead to cold areas away from the heat source. At the same time, these important features were performing important double duty by channeling ambient light into unlit locations. Aside from their practical applications, interior transom windows could also be found in grand houses, but often filling a more aesthetic purpose. Featuring intricate stained glass designs, or elaborate wood muntin patterns, these windows were employed as conspicuous displays wealth and stature.


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