As long as there has been glass, there has been a need for cleaning windows. It sounds like job stability, but the market has definitely changed throughout the years. Even when I was younger, you still had Mom and Pop businesses and downtown storefronts paying window washers to stop by. It’s not like that don’t still do that, but hey, we don’t live in Mayberry, USA anymore.
Think about all the skyscrapers that dot the landscapes of cities these days. Think about the difference between hiring someone to wash those windows vs hiring someone to wash the storefront windows of a small downtown business. It takes a certain kind of skilled professional to be washing the windows of skyscrapers.
It was mentioned that there has been a need for window washing since glass has been around, but how long has glass been around anyway? What if you were told there are records of people making and using glass as early as 8,000 years ago? While people certainly had to clean windows back then and since then, window washing as a business didn’t come into play until the 19th century. Why?
During the mid to late 19th century is when glass started being mass produced. One of the first, if not the first, window cleaning business was founded in 1878. Of course, this type of business really started catching on after the turn of the century and has been booming ever since.
I live in a high rise building, but since I own the unit that I live in, I am in charge of cleaning my own windows. Thankfully, there is a balcony of course, and all I need are some papers towels and window cleaner. The actual art of window cleaning involves specific tools and equipment. What do you know about the history of window cleaning?