Are you looking to add a little vintage flare to your home, but you’re not sure where to start? Consider incorporating the classic look of glass doorknobs into your space. Glass doorknobs and pulls are timeless and can add something special to your otherwise modern décor. Continue reading to discover why glass doorknobs will never go out of style and how they could be the perfect way to update your home décor.
A Little History
Glass doorknobs date back to the early 1800’s and are little “treasures” sought after by antique-store-shoppers and flea-market-frequenters. In 1826, the process of pressing molten glass into molds was developed. However, glass doorknobs developed using this process didn’t become popular until after the United States entered World War I.
Because metals like brass and iron were needed for wartime machinery over doorknobs, major hardware manufacturers began to use sand to create beautiful glass knobs. These knobs typically had anywhere between six to 12 facets, and featured intricate star, pinprick and bullet designs that you could see clearly through the glass. Colored-glass knobs were even more rare. (Keep this in mind on your next trip to the antique shop!)
Glass doorknobs and pulls graced American homes well into the 1940’s. With a change of architectural style in the 1950’s, however, hardware manufacturers returned to their old practice of using metals for doorknobs.
New or Vintage?
Glass doorknobs are still manufactured today, but these new knobs look and feel a little different than the old ones. One surefire determinant is the clarity of the glass: the vintage knobs will look more watery, which refract light differently, while new knobs will look crystal clear. The wear-and-tear of vintage doorknobs is what makes the hardware unique! Don’t settle for a modern look-alike if your on the hunt for something vintage.
When shopping for vintage doorknobs, be sure to evaluate the spindles and screwsets. Spindles and screwsets come in all shapes and sizes, including spindles that are threaded and unthreaded. In other words, not all vintage knobs are the same, so you’ll need to take these features into consideration, especially if you already have a vintage doorknob and you’re searching for a compatible knob to match. In addition, measure your door before your “treasure hunt” to ensure that the knobs will fit snugly.
Not looking to update your door/cabinetry hardware, yet still fascinated by the history and look of glass doorknobs? There are several ways to repurpose glass doorknobs for your home.
- Curtain tieback – Glass doorknobs are a beautiful way to tie back your curtains and let some sunshine inside! Check out this DIY from HGTV. http://www.hgtv.com/design/make-and-celebrate/handmade/use-a-vintage-doorknob-as-a-curtain-tieback
- Wine stopper – This repurposed gift is sure to “wow” the wine-lover in your life! Add a vintage touch to your next dinner party with this eHow DIY. http://www.ehow.com/how_7838133_instructions-door-knob-wine-stopper.html
- Coatrack – Hang up your coat and sit a spell! Travel back in time and create a vintage doorknob coatrack. Check out this craft idea by This Old House! https://www.thisoldhouse.com/how-to/how-to-make-doorknob-coatrack
Regardless of how you choose to implement this timeless piece of hardware, your home will thank you! A small vintage touch like glass doorknobs may be just thing to give your home décor that “facelift” you’ve desired, or even impress a potential home buyer somewhere down the line! Have a glass question? Glass Doctor has the answer! Contact a Glass Doctor expert today.
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