On the 3rd of September he wrote a post called The House the Circus Built --10 St. Nicholas Place. And in his post he told a story of James Bailey. Bailey was the Bailey of Barnum and Bailey. Baily's home from 1880 is still standing and in a remarkable state of preservation. What caught my eye about it particularly were the stained glass windows it held.
The Bailey House featured windows made by the Belcher Mosaic Glass company and these windows are some of the last surviving examples of the Belcher Company's work.
|A Belcher Mosaic window from the Bailey House|
Belcher developed a new technique for making mosaic windows rather than the standard stained glass techniques used since the early middle ages. Rather than using lead cames between the individual pieces of glass, Belcher patented a process where he'd lay out the pattern of the window between two sheets of asbestos. Then he poured a molten lead alloy over the whole works. The molten alloy would flow between the pieces of glass and make a stable window.
This process allowed Belcher to use much smaller pieces than most stained glass windows use and he could use pieces of glass that were in regular, repeating shapes --triangles usually but sometimes squares.
The Belcher Mosaic Glass Company went out of business in 1880 and a handful of these windows survive. I think they're fascinating. Almost as fascinating as I find Tom's blog. Check it out and if you're ever in Manhattan and you need a tour guide, I know the best one out there.