The History of Mirrors

Nearly everyone has at least one mirror in their home today. But the history of mirrors shows how few people had them or could afford them in days gone by.

The history of mirrors begins with some person long ago happening upon a still pool of water and noticing their reflection in it. Possibly it took some time for this early person to realize what he or she was seeing, but soon they understood it was a reflection of themselves.

Some of the earliest mirrors were manufactured from polished stone as long as 6000 years ago. The history of mirrors shows these early ones to come from around modern-day Turkey. Similar mirrors were made in Central and South America about 2000 years ago.

Metal mirrors made their appearance in the history of mirrors in Mesopotamia around 4000 B.C. These mirrors were made from polished copper.

The Egyptians also made mirrors from polished metal about 3000 B.C.

The history of mirrors reveals the Chinese having made mirrors from polished metal around 2000 B.C. Mirrors made from copper and speculum tin may have been produced in China and India. Making mirrors from any speculum metal was difficult and thus expensive. Only the wealthy could afford them.

Metal-coated glass mirrors first made their appearance in the history of mirrors in the first century A.D. in the area around modern-day Lebanon.

In the early Renaissance, the history of mirrors shows the process for coating glass with a tin-mercury amalgam was developed in Europe. Venice in the 16th Century was famous for its glass making production and became well-known for producing quality mirrors. By the middle of the 17th Century, London and Paris were the chief mirror making locations, according to the history of mirrors.

The history of mirrors indicates the silvering process, coating a glass surface with metallic silver, was invented by a German chemist in 1835. This was the forerunner of the modern process of mirror making and resulted in mirrors being available for many more people because of cost. Today, mirrors are made with a thin coating of aluminum or silver behind glass.

When you need a mirror repaired, you may need someone who can make some suggestions. Whatever kind of mirror you have when you need repair or replacement, call FEDERAL GLASS AND MIRROR at 508-872-3563. Mike and John Purpura have a long family history of excellence in many types of glass replacement and installation.