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If you think about it the door knob began the whole movement towards security and safety in the home. Before the door knob doors would just push open when someone wanted to get inside or go out. Then along came the door knob. It was a great way to keep a door from opening accidentally. A door knob also offered a side benefit of keeping the elements out of the house. Imagine how things would be in a storm without a door knob. Rain and wind would rush in every time. Once the door knob was in place there were further advances to this invention.
If you are creating the perfect old home getaway for yourself you need to pay special attention to the little details that may give away the reality. Modern homes often have modern hardware that will betray their true age. Your average sterile hardware is not going to go with your beautiful Mediterranean home or French chateau. They just dont add to the character. They actually end up being a conflict in design with your home. Instead those modern door knobs and other hardware pieces are going to stick out like a sore thumb ruining the experience you have worked so hard to create.
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They also will be getting a lot more wear and tear on an outside door and may not be strong enough to handle it. Its not just door knobs but there are also handles that can replace a door knob to give you door a little different look. The sliding door handles have a more industrial look. If you are creating a home with a modern décor motif these may be just the pieces you are looking for. An added bonus of the door handle door knob varieties is that for some they are easier to open. As many people age they have limited mobility in their hands from arthritis or other muscle reducing ailments. Sometimes grabbing a hold of a normal door knob and turning it is a difficult proposition. But with a sliding door handle its much easier to open a door just push the handle down and the door pops open. Even if they have limited hand mobility these doors can be opened by just leaning on the handle to trigger the mechanism.