Mirrors have been used by humans for thousands of years to aid in their daily tasks. From helping us to groom and dress ourselves to being a tool for spiritual reflection, mirrors have played an integral part in human history. From the earliest known examples of polished stones to modern–day sheets of glass, let’s take a look at the fascinating history of mirrors, from ancient times to the modern era.
In ancient times, polished stones were used as mirrors. The oldest known example of a mirror is the one found in the Grotte des Faux–Monnayeurs in France, which dates back to around 6,000 B.C.E. These early mirrors were used for a variety of reasons, such as for grooming, for healing rituals, and for divination.
In the Middle Ages, mirrored glass was invented in Venice. Mirrors were still expensive and only available to the wealthy, so it was used in religious ceremonies, for decoration, and as a status symbol. By the late 1500s, the production of mirrors had spread to other parts of Europe and their use had become more widespread.
The development of the silvered–glass mirror in the 1700s revolutionized the production of mirrors and made them more affordable. This new type of mirror was created by coating one side of a sheet of glass with a reflective material, such as tin or silver. This technique made mirrors easier to produce and allowed them to be used in more everyday contexts.
The invention of the silvered–glass mirror led to further advancements in the production of mirrors, such as the use of mercury in the 1800s. This technique allowed for the creation of higher quality and more durable mirrors. It also enabled the production of larger mirrors, which could be used in a variety of settings.
The invention of the silvered–glass mirror also led to the development of the modern–day mirror. In the late 19th century, the first plate glass mirrors were created. This type of mirror was cheaper and more durable, making it ideal for a variety of uses.
Today, mirrors are ubiquitous in our lives. We use them for a variety of purposes, from decorating our homes to helping us groom. Mirrors are also used in a variety of industries, from healthcare to aerospace. The history of mirrors is an interesting one, and it is fascinating to witness how the development of mirrors has evolved from ancient times to the modern era.