In use since the Victorian era, one of the first patents issued for metal weather stripping in the United States was dated 1890 went to John Chamberlin of Detroit before he founded a company that became a pioneer in energy efficient weather stripping.
Metal weather stripping has proven its worth by virtue of the test of time. Houses built over 100 years ago often still have the original weather stripping, and it's just as efficient now as it was when it was installed.
There are three types of metal weather stripping, but they all work in the same basic manner. A metal flange is compressed when a window is closed, and it can spring out a bit when the window is opened. The flange can also be adjusted for variances in the gap width of any given window. The thin metal can also be bent to accommodate rounded or oddly-shaped windows.
The two metals most commonly used are zinc and bronze. Zinc is a lower-priced option that offers a long and maintenance-free life. Although it's more expensive, bronze offers a longer service life and is more aesthetically pleasing. Neither will rust. It's important to note that only aluminum nails should be used with the zinc weather stripping and only bronze nails should be used with the bronze weather stripping.
Although both types of weather stripping are equally effective, bronze weather stripping will yield the most historically accurate results.