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There are many practical uses for mirrors in your home. Obviously, you need a mirror in each of your bathrooms, and many people choose to place a mirror near the front door. You may or may not prefer to have one in your bedroom, depending on how closely you follow the rules of Feng Shui. However, can serve more than a practical purpose. They can be stylish and decorative as well.
We take mirrors for granted most of the time. They are a household item that gets used every day. Even though most people look in a mirror multiple times a day, the actual mirror itself goes unnoticed. To understand the important role the mirror has in our everyday lives, let’s learn a bit about the history of this functional and often beautiful household item.
Humans have been admiring themselves by looking at their reflection on many different surfaces throughout history. Since the dawn of time, humans could study their reflection in still pools of water. Some considered this to be magic and some were very frightened by it.
The first examples of man-made mirrors were made with obsidian which is volcanic glass. The obsidian was polished to the desired reflectiveness and used by many throughout history. Even in modern times, some people believe an has healing properties and can increase your overall wellness.
Ancient humans used a variety of materials as mirrors. Glass, bronze, copper, and stone are all examples of natural elements used to see one’s reflection. These materials were polished until shiny and reflective. Glass is hard, produces little blur, and is more scratch resistant than other materials but isn’t very reflective on its own. Stone scratches easily. Other metals used had to be polished frequently to keep their reflective ability.
Ancients from across the globe tried many combinations of metals and other materials throughout time. They learned early on that coating glass with molten metal produced the best reflection. Over thousands of years, craftsmen have perfected the process.
It may be surprising to learn that the mirror as we know it today is less than 200 years old. In 1835, German chemist Justus Von Liebig developed the process of depositing a thin layer of silver on a flat piece of glass. This silvering process made mirrors more affordable which led to wider use. Now, the method of producing mirrors typically uses wet deposition of silver, chromium or nickel via electroplating.
Humans have used mirrors for many different purposes throughout history. Early humans associated reflective items with magic and they believed that they had mystical powers. Mirrors were a symbol of wealth and power for centuries. Over time, humans learned that they could use mirrors in scientific ways as well. They have been used in art and architecture for centuries.
Mirrors play an essential role in science and technology. use mirrors, as do cameras, and flashlights. Many high-end electronics including televisions use millions of microscopic mirrors to improve clarity and picture quality. Mirrors are an important material used in solar panels as well.
Today, we use three mirrors in our vehicles while driving, but this wasn’t always the case. The first widely known use of a rearview mirror on a car was in 1911 at the Indy 500. Ray Harroun wanted to lighten the weight his car had to carry by not having his mechanic ride along in the race. Part of this man’s job was to face rearward and communicate with the driver. Race officials let Harroun use a rearview mirror in place of his mechanic. He went on to win the race. Harroun is often credited for ‘inventing’ the rearview mirror, but Harroun always gave credit to seeing it on a horse-drawn carriage in 1904. Early rearview mirrors were called “cop-spotters” and drivers used them to go faster when they wanted to outrun the law!
Mirrors are everywhere, but they often go unnoticed throughout the day. By the time you brush your teeth in the morning, drive to work, and walk into your office building, you will have encountered many mirrors already. They make many daily tasks easier and safer. Just imagine shaving or applying makeup without being able to see what you are doing. How dangerous would it be to drive on the highway if you didn’t have side view mirrors on your car? The mirrored glass that covers your office building allows much of the natural sunlight to enter while offering privacy to those inside at the same time. Our lives are better because of mirrors. If for no other reason than because no one has to walk around with spinach stuck in their teeth anymore!
If you are in the market for a new mirror for your home or office, contact the at Giant Glass and Mirror in Dania Beach, Florida. Our team of experts has been serving the Miami area for over 20 years. We back all of our products with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. We are sure to have the perfect mirror to fit your needs.
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