They may look totally different, but mirrors are made of glass – just like the beautiful frameless shower enclosures and glass railings that we make.
Today, mirrors are part of our everyday lives. You probably wouldn’t think of leaving the house before checking your appearance in one. Most cars these days have more than one mirror. Women might carry one in their purse. Even the trendy tiny homes you might have seen on TV have mirrors.
We take mirrors for granted today, but for most of their history, mirrors were considered a luxury item.
Early Mirror Makers
According to the Columbia Tribune, “The early method for making a glass mirror consisted of coating the back of a sheet of glass with an amalgam of mercury and tin. The surface was overlaid with several sheets of tinfoil and rubbed smooth. The entire surface was then covered with mercury. Finally, a cloth made of soft wool was placed on the surface and weighted down for a day. The glass was then tilted so that the excess mercury ran off and could be save.”
Whew! No wonder it was considered unlucky to break a mirror! And no wonder mirrors were considered to be luxury items.
Other advancements – like adding gilt frames and making oval or round mirrors – only added to the luxurious appeal of mirrors.
It wasn’t until the 19th century that someone figured out how to coat the back of the glass with silver. It still wasn’t exactly easy to make a mirror, but it did simplify things and shorten the timeline.
Today, mirrors can be mass produced, but quality custom mirrors – as well as chic frameless glass balcony railings and clear glass shower enclosures – can still add a touch of luxury to your life.