A mirror is an object with a sufficiently polished surface for an image to reflect.
Origin of the mirror
The first mirrors are certainly bodies of water or water collected in containers.
Then, the first manufactured mirrors were pieces of polished stone like obsidian, a natural volcanic glass. The more reflective mirrors in polished metal surfaces were then designed: polished copper mirrors, polished bronze mirrors made in China.
Sponges were attached to the metal alloy mirror, which oxidized rapidly, as well as a pumice stone to repolish them. The glass mirror with a sheet of metal will then appear, then the alloy mirror of tin and copper, then silver, but also glass mirrors covered with gold or molten lead.
Egyptian bronze mirror, 1200 BC JC. AD
The Chinese began to make mirrors using silver-mercury amalgams as early as the fifth century. In the Renaissance, European manufacturers developed a superior method of glass mirror coated with an amalgam of tin-mercury.
The invention of the silver glass mirror is credited to the German chemist Justus von Liebig in 1835: the tin-mercury amalgam being toxic, it replaced it by depositing a thin layer of metallic silver on the glass thanks to the chemical reduction of silver nitrate. This silvering process allowed the mass production of mirrors and made their prices affordable.
Long regarded as an object without vital utility and therefore, pertaining to luxury, few people possessed. In addition, the mirror was often small enough to not be easily seen from head to toe.
Rising living standards have favored the commercialization of mirrors of all types and in all environments. By spreading this way, this object-friend of Narcisse-participated in various modifications of mentalities, attitudes and behaviors, especially in the field of self-image and aesthetics.
We then see the mirrors in the foot, bathroom, etc … Today, the mirrors are most often produced by vacuum deposition or electrolytic deposition on a glass plate of a reflective layer of aluminum and a layer of copper or lead (mirror tain making it opaque).
Here is a selection of beautiful mirrors: