Who Invented Mirrors?

Silvered glass mirrors were first manufactured by Justus von Liebig, a German chemist, in 1835. He not only invented mirrors but his technique of the mass production of mirrors also made them affordable. He perfected the technique of depositing silver metal onto one side of a glass through the chemical reduction of silver nitrate. Until then, the mirrors were a privileged commodity, which only the nobility could afford.

mirrorsArcheologists attribute the oldest mirrors to the people of Turkey. They are about 8000 years old and there is a special name for them ‘obsidian mirrors’. Obsidian mirrors are mere volcanic rocks with shiny surfaces. Mirrors of polished copper dates back to 4000 BC and they are attributed to the Babylonians. Egyptians developed their own copper polished mirror a thousand years later; around 3000 BC. The Chinese and the Indians began making copper, bronze and speculum alloy mirrors by the 2000 BC. Speculum alloy had two thirds copper and one third tin in it. Mirrors with glass as their component were first made in Rome around 77 AD. The Greeks and Arabs dealt with the properties of concave and convex mirrors so it is likely that they had developed some kind of mirrors. Before Liebig, some manufactures had perfected the art of producing mirrors using tin-mercury amalgam but these mirrors were expensive.

Category: Inventions

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