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Jan 17th 2017

History of the Window Screen

Window screen mesh with water droplets in the mesh

History of the Window Screen

Window screens are some of the things, like carpet, the light bulb, and other everyday items and materials that go unnoticed by most. Window screens have been assimilated into our everyday life since before we were born and would hardly give them a second thought until we have to bear the nuisance of pests that make their way into our space due to the lack of screens; or, we may give window screens a thought when we are forced to buy replacement window screen frames or window screen material.

It’s hard to believe that there was a time when there were not screens and it’s also amusing to think of something such as window screen material being invented. But, like all the various everyday conveniences that we take for granted in our first-world lives, window screens had to be invented and they added more than just convenience to our lives.


The invention of window screen material is not clear. The American Farmer speaks of “woven wire” for window screens in 1823 and an advertisement is seen in the 1836 edition of Boyd’s Blue Book. Though some screens were seen before this, the company Gilbert and Bennett is credited with it’s invention. During the Civil War, Gilbert and Bennett was unable to sell their products to the South. To save their company and the woven wire material they had, they began painting the wire so it wouldn’t rust. They began selling their painted wire mesh as window screen and window screens grew in popularity

On the Railroad

The company Bayley and McCluckey was the first to file for the patent for window screens on passenger railroad cars. The window screen material keep cinders, sparks, and dust out of the passenger cars, allowing for passengers to have a more pleasant and safe trip.

Window Screens As Art

Artists saw the window screen material as an opportunity for artistic expression. Using the window screen material, artists would paint landscape scenes on the screens and these painted screens not only keep bugs and other annoyances out of homes, but also acted as privacy windows.

Window Screen to the Rescue

Before the widespread use of window screens, most people had to suffer through months and months of mosquitoes, flies, other pests flying in and around their house. With these pests came diseases. The widespread use of window screens helped bring about the eradication of many diseases that plagued early America and are now mostly unheard of. It’s interested to think something so simple made such a big difference in modern society and eliminated much of the things that plagued early-Americans.

Modern Window Screen Material

Today, it is very rare that homes, apartments, and other living spaces aren’t outfitted with window screens. Thanks to modern technology, there are more options for the window screen material outfitting your windows. You can pick window screen material that fits the needs of your home and your lifestyle. Window screen material is now made out of aluminum, fiberglass, copper, PVC, and more.

Metro Screenworks: Quality Window Screen Material

Are you looking for quality window screen material to replace old torn screens, for your home building project, or to finally screen in your porch? We can guarantee we have just what you need. Not only do we see every kind of window screen material, but we sell window screen material in various roll sizes and lengths as well as custom window screens premade.

Shop all our products online! Have questions about our products our how to measure for your custom screens? Check out our Measuring FAQ page!

And be sure to check out our blog for screen tips, ideas, and topics!