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Beverlyheels StyleMaterials: Mirrors

Materials: Mirrors

Posted on Mon, Mar 12th, 2018

Time to reflect on the past!

Since prehistoric times, human beings were curious about how they look. Water was nature’s way of providing the early man a way to look at himself. But of course, more clarity was needed. Although, the first man made glass dates way back to the 4000 BC, it was in 1500 BC that the first hollow glass container was made by covering a sand core with a layer of molten glass. The technique of blowing glass was invented in Babylon in 1 AD.

The first mirror made its way into existence around 600 B.C. But, they were not made of glass; they were polished surfaces of natural materials that could reflect an image. Soon enough, people started making mirrors out of gold, silver and copper. These were not actual mirrors as they were small, they were important because of their weight. Measuring rarely more than 8 inches, they were mainly a status symbol. Just one exception recorded in history was the Pharos, the lighthouse of Alexandria, whose large metal mirror reflected sunlight during the day and during the night a fire was lit and the mirror projected the fire’s light into a beam for the ships.

The modern mirrors that we see now evolved around 1835. But there were quite a few hurdles manufacturers had to cross before manufacturing the perfect mirror. Sand, a common ingredient for glass manufacturing, contained too many impurities to produce real clarity. Again, the shock caused by the heat of adding molten metal for backing almost always broke the glass. It was during the Renaissance that the Florentines invented a process for making low temperature lead backing that modern mirrors are made of. Still the mirror was a thing of luxury to be owned by nobles. Soon enough scientists realized many more uses of the mirror, one of them being the telescope. James Bradely used this knowledge to build the first reflecting telescope in 1721.

The mirror today is made by silvering or spraying a thin layer of silver or aluminum onto the back of the sheet of glass. These mirrors are used for all kinds of purposes – from LCD projections to lasers to car headlights! Looking glass mirrors today are fashionable and are made with back designs of silver, gold and many other metals as per preference. Browse through the fine selection of mirrors at

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