History Of Mirrors

Dec. 27, 2019

Polished bronze mirror:

A custom mirror picture frame supplier will share with you: The earliest bronze mirror found in archeology in China was from the Qijia cultural era more than 4000 years ago, and its history is earlier than the bronze age. In the Yin and Shang and Western Zhou Dynasties, bronze mirrors were special appliances for the relatives and relatives of the emperor. They were not available to ordinary people. Until the Spring and Autumn and Warring States Periods, they were only used by the nobles. They did not become ordinary daily life appliances until the Qin and Han Dynasties. But how did the idea of a bronze mirror come about? Before the appearance of mirrors, people faced each other with water. For example, the picture of Wu Wangfu in the picture below is a container for water in the late Spring and Autumn Period. People "look in the mirror" through this water surface. Later, it was probably a genius designer who came up with a whimsy and found that even if there is no water in the Jian, the bottom is smooth, and you can "look in the mirror", so he "made the mirror flat" and made a bronze mirror.

Of course, "making Jianpai flat into a bronze mirror" is just a joke to the ancients. In fact, the ancient cast mirror usually used the "fan casting method". To put it simply, first use the mud to pinch out the shape and pattern of the mirror you want, and then dry it and fire it to make it a master mold; then apply a layer of mud to this master mold to form an external model and place the master mold. Out of it, the outer model has also been shaped. After that, the molten alloy (mainly composed of copper and tin or silver-lead) is poured into the external cavity cavity, and after being removed from the cavity, it is cleaned and polished to become a bronze mirror. Of course, there are not only bronze mirrors in ancient China. In 3000 BC, bronze mirrors were also used for makeup in Egypt (yes, the nobles of ancient Egypt began to put on makeup at that time, but obviously not our makeup in the modern sense). In the ancient Greek and Roman times, people also used a slightly convex polished metal disc as a mirror, and the non-reflective side was engraved with a pattern. The earliest mirrors were hand mirrors with handles. Large mirrors that could shine on the whole body did not appear until the 1st century AD. In the Middle Ages, hand mirrors were popular in Europe. They were usually silver or polished bronze mirrors.

Silver-plated glass mirror:

In the 16th century, the cylindrical method for manufacturing plate glass was invented, and the tin amalgam method for attaching tin foil to glass with mercury was invented. During the Renaissance, Venetian glass mirrors were of high quality and reputation. At that time, the Venetians attached shiny silver foil to the glass and poured mercury mirrors. Mercury is a liquid metal that can dissolve tin well and turn it into a viscous silver-white liquid-tin amalgam. This tin amalgam has high strength and can tightly adhere to glass to make a glass mirror. For a period of time, Venice almost monopolized the market for glass mirrors. It was not until the French government found a way to make glass mirrors that glass mirrors were slowly used throughout the world. However, this method was inefficient and mercury was toxic, and people improved it later. In 1835, German chemist J. von Leibig invented the chemical silver plating method, which made the application of glass mirrors more popular. In fact, the chemical silver plating method is the silver mirror reaction that we learned in high school chemistry. Pour some silver nitrate solution into the washed test tube, add some ammonia and sodium hydroxide, and finally pour some glucose solution. At this time you will see a strange phenomenon: the original clear and transparent glass test tube suddenly became silvery. We know that glucose is a substance with reducing ability. It can reduce the silver ions in silver nitrate to metallic silver and precipitate on the glass wall. In addition to glucose, formaldehyde and ferrous chloride are commonly used as reducing agents in factories. In order to make the mirror durable, usually after the silver plating, a red protective lacquer is painted on the back, so that the silver layer is not easy to peel off. In China, glass mirrors were introduced in the Ming dynasty, and glass mirrors became popular only in the Qianlong period of the Qing dynasty.

 Round Mirror With Hanging Chain

 Round Mirror With Hanging Chain

Now the mirror:

In recent years, we have seen more mirrors with aluminum backing. The method of making an aluminum mirror is to evaporate aluminum in a vacuum, and the aluminum vapor condenses on the glass surface to become a thin aluminum film, which can also serve as a reflection. The price of aluminum is relatively cheap, and the manufacturing method is relatively simple, so "aluminum mirrors" have gradually become popular. round mirror with hanging chain is a kind of special mirror. Nowadays, we often see a kind of "magic" mirror in our life, which looks like a mirror from one side, but sees transparent glass from the other side. How can this be done? The secret is to use a special method to plate a very thin layer of silver on the glass. Seeing this, have you not thought that the mirrors that are used every day in life without being noticed by people have such a long history, from the first bronze mirror to the later "silver mirror", "aluminum mirror", Double mirror and so on. But on the face value, I personally think that the bronze mirror is better in the past, but currently we have a variety of mirror photo frame, which adds a lot of interest to our lives.