“Wove wire for window screens" were referenced in the American Farmer in 1823. Advertisement for wire window screens appeared in Boyd's Blue Book in 1836. Two wire window screens were exhibited at Quincy Hall in Boston in 1839. In 1861 Gilberr, Bennett and Company was manufacturing wire mesh sieves for food processing. An employee realized that the wire cloth could be painted gray and sold as window screens and the product became an immediate success.
On July 7, 1868, Bayley and McCluskey filed a U.S. Patent, number 79541 for screened roof-top rail-car windows, allowing ventilation, while preventing "sparks, cinders, dust, etc." from entering the passenger compartment. By 1874, E.T. Barnum Company of Detroit, Michigan advertised screens that were sold by the square foot. Apparently, window screens designed specifically to prevent insect entry were not patented in the United States, although by 1900 several patents were awarded for particular innovations related to window screen design. By the 1950s, parasitic diseases were largely eradicated in the United States in part due to the widespread use of window screens. Today most houses in Australia, the United States and Canada have screens on all operable windows.
A window screen, insect screen or bug screen is a metal wire, fiberglass, or other synthetic fiber mesh, stretched in a frame of wood or metal, designed to cover the opening of an open window. Its primary purpose is to keep insects, leaves, debris, birds, and other animals from entering a building or a screened structure such as a porch, while permitting fresh air-flow. Formerly, screens in North America were usually replaced with glass storm windows in the winter, but now the two functions are usually combined in combination storm and screen windows, which allow glass and screen panels to slide up and down.
Types of Screening Materials
The most common materials used for insect screening material are aluminum and fiberglass.
· Aluminum is generally available in natural aluminum or in an applied charcoal color; the charcoal is much less visible.
· Fiberglass is available in light gray as well as charcoal colors, the charcoal again offering better viewing and appearance. Fiberglass is less expensive, and has the advantage of not "denting" when hit or pushed. Fiberglass mesh screen cloth provides excellent visibility and strength, allowing you to enjoy the scenery more clearly without sacrificing comfort.
The Ultimate in screening material is a fairly new product called UltraVue screening. This is a very fine fiberglass mesh screen, which is practically invisible. UltraVue screens have much better visibility with maximum airflow.