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Saturday, April 28, 2012

HANDSOME TRANSOM

TRANSOM LIGHT, LANCASTER, KENTUCKY

Lancaster, Kentucky is a small town that had a population of 3,734 in the 2000 census. Within the town's borders you will find a diverse collection of vintage structures represented by commercial buildings as well as homes.


I have been taking photos of these structures for a few years. One of my favorite places to visit in Lancaster is the Garrard County Historical Society. It is a place where extremely knowledgeable folks hang out and can answer most questions about Garrard County and Lancaster. 


I took the photo above in Lancaster. My eyes had floated to the transom light above a commercial building doorway. If you look closely at the above square window, that is located above the entrance door, you can make out a name of G. C. Walker. This square window is called the transom light. Transoms became a building tradition in the 1800s with a name and/or address  placed in gold leaf on the transom's glass. 


After the 1800s, transom lights over doors slowly lost their popularity.  These old transoms were hinged and could be independently opened from the door below it, thus providing light and ventilation to the interior. 


This transom light is especially handsome as it incorporates the Victorian architectural features that surround it.  I'm sure there are a few other transoms in Lancaster that I have not noticed. 


Lancaster has so many beautiful homes and commercial structures that are unique, both small and large. I plan on many more photo sessions in this quaint town. 


Reference:
 To view an old transom in a kitchen visit
 old house web

20 comments:

  1. It is too bad transoms are a thing of the past. I have always loved them and I will put them in my dollhouses to keep them alive and well.

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    1. Lady Jane -- Transoms in your dollhouses would be unique. I am impressed with your detail -- barbara

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  2. What neat old windows these are. I have a narrow multi paned (4) one that I adapted into a photo frame. It still has the hardware and old chain attached. I took 4 black & white photos of my hubby as a boy and taped them behind the window panes. It made a wonderful frame for them. It's my favorite piece on my bedroom wall.

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    1. Mamabug -- That idea is certainly unique. Nice that you left the hardware on the frame. This type of framing seems like it would add a lot of character to the wall in your bedroom. -- barbara

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  3. I love gingerbread carpentry on older buildings. And transom lights...when I grew up, my school rooms had them over each classroom's door. Well, the older building did, along with wood floors, of course.

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    1. Barbara -- I don't have a clue when hinged, over the door transoms ended their long usefulness. perhaps in the early 1900s? I don't remember having them in the old brick school I attended in elementary grades. I did have a friend that bought an small, old inn on a lake that had transoms above all the bedroom doors. thanks for stopping by -- barbara

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  4. Interesting all that the photo captures. All of the trim work around the window, and on the columns,the notches above. The name of the business not a blaring sign. Reflects a time of a slower paced lifestyle. Nice work in composing this shot.

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    1. Grampy -- thanks for your nice comments. Definitely a slower time when this type of architecture existed. There was certainly pride in the workmanship during the early years of this country. -- barbara

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  5. I have been through Lancaster and they do have some great structures on their town square. Nice captures.

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    1. Michelle -- Lancaster's town square is certainly the main focal point of the town. It is nice that the town folks have preserved the beautiful architectural gems of the square. thanks for the comment -- barbara

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  6. I vaguely recall these old windows that not only let in light but also cool air. At times they could really make a difference indoors.

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  7. Rubye -- Perhaps they were not as popular west of the Mississippi? I would imagine that the south would have the most transoms as they are known for their hot weather -- of course this was before the days of air conditioning. thanks -- barbara

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  8. In publishing, the term 'over the transom' refers to a manuscript that is sent straight to the editor without the help of an agent. One imagines a desperate author tossing a manuscript through an open transom onto the editor's desk... :-)

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    1. Vicki -- I think most young authors would be perplexed by the use of "over the transom." They wouldn't know what the heck a transom was. I would love to see the return of transoms in our buildings. Now, if a builder has windows high in the room, they call them transom lights! Even though one cannot open them. thanks for the comment -- barbara

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  9. I remember lots of transoms when I was growing up in the Seattle area. But, of course, today....we have air conditioning...so who needs "natural" cooling? Nobody would make a profit off of a transom...! Sorry for the "grrrrrrr," but today's article (obviously sponsored by the oil and gas industry) off the Google "news" headlines...would have us believe and is trying to claim that windpower is raising the global temperature. Isn't it amazing the ends "they" will go to to get everyone to keep sucking on dinosaur petroleum-based energy!

    Elora

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    1. Elora -- There is so much dysfunctional words, regulations and bills coming out by the energy companies that I can't keep up with them. Mr Koch is behind this reckless path -- as long as he has his 25 billion in the bank he doesn't care what the heck happens. thanks for the comment -- barbara

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  10. We have a town to the north of us called Lancaster, Victorian buildings that you'd love.

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    1. Carole Anne -- Would that I could travel so far. It would be wonderful to visit. My fear of flying keeps me grounded, regrettably. Old buildings are so fascinating. thanks -- barbara

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  11. That is a lovely piece of vernacular architecture.

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    1. HATTIE -- thanks for the nice comment. Vernacular is so "of the people." -- barbara

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