​The History of Mirrors

While modern society seems to take the humble mirror for granted, its origins are a source of scientific and historical interest. Starting with the first mirrors made of volcanic glass, all the way to the development of the fixtures we use today, all types of mirrors have a story to tell.

Who Made The First Mirror?

Considering a society in which no person has ever been able to see his or her reflection is a baffling concept. But the technology that modern society uses to make mirrors that accurately reflect our features is relatively new.

Rudimentary mirrors may not have appeared as accurate as today’s clear and cheaply available models, but at one time, people became fascinated with being able to view their reflections whenever they wanted. Apart from looking into a body of water, how would anyone know what they looked like?

But nearly 8,000 years ago, someone in Anatolia discovered that polished obsidian created a reflective surface. The effort that the process required meant that people could spend hours polishing the surface of a rock with various materials of different grains. The finer the material, the shinier the obsidian.

These early developments later led to mirrors which used copper, stone, and bronze for their reflective properties. Many metals were lighter than obsidian so that mirrors could become portable and versatile. The glass mirror, however, did not emerge until 1835 with a German chemist named Justus von Liebig.

Von Liebig used the process of adhering metallic silver to a pane of glass, making a reflective and rather lightweight surface, compared to history’s heavy stone models. Over centuries, the process has become more refined, and now every modern home has at least one mirror as a permanent fixture.

How Are Mirrors Made?

There are multiple types of mirrors, but the most common is a plane mirror. These are mirrors that mirror objects by reflecting light back to the viewer. Mirrors are glass with a reflective surface on one side, often aluminum in today’s designs.

The process uses silver nitrate or aluminum, distilled water, and ammonia to adhere liquid metals to a sheet of glass. Even two-way mirrors use the same process, but a thinner application of metal only allows half of the light to reflect. This makes the mirror function as a one-way window rather than a straightforward mirror.

Beyond home applications, other mirror types also give lasers, telescopes, and other devices their clear and precise views.

Modern Applications of Mirrors

Of course, most homeowners desire mirrors for vanity. After all, most people prefer not to leave the house without double-checking their appearance through the reflection of a mirror. But our reasons for hanging mirrors throughout our homes go deeper than our need for self-confirmation.

Whether you choose a mirror to pair with a bathroom accessory set or you’re targeting an elaborate design that aims to impress, there are endless applications for mirrors. Mirrors can bring warmth to a room, can expand the size of a room, and can be hung to add a design tone or feel to a room.

Enhancing Small Spaces

For many people looking to renovate or redecorate a home, mirrors can add light and a feeling of expanded space. The same properties that give mirrors the ability to reflect our faces also help enhance light in a room and make rooms with a small footprint feel bigger.

Adding to Overall Design

Whether in a master bath, walk-in closet, living room, or bedroom, mirror styles cover every trend from classic to modern to minimalist. Framed, paneled, and shaped mirrors add to the design of your home by complementing your décor and color scheme.

Creating a Focal Point

With multiple design elements in one space, choosing one signature or centerpiece item can help focus the entire scheme. Tying together colors and textures in one piece helps highlight similarities in the décor rather than contrasting them. This means a more cohesive result for your newly made-over room.

Mirror Options with Harkraft

Every Harkraft mirror uses ¼” pencil edges and sizes range from 18 to 96 inches wide and come in 36-inch and 42-inch heights. Custom mirrors of any shape and size suit your unique space and design scheme and freshen up the room.

In some cases, a custom-made mirror is an answer to style conundrums in spaces that need updating. Mirrors are versatile pieces that add to the function of a room but also cater to any décor choice.

Contact us today to learn about the mirrors we offer.