Almost two centuries ago, in one of the pyramids of Egypt, archaeologists have discovered a strange metal disc.
It was not characters, but was a solid layer of rust. The disc was mounted on a heavy statuette in the form of a young woman.
About destination disk argue long.
Some scientists have argued that this kind of modern cookware pans, others were convinced that such discs were used as a fan.
However, it turned out that rusty metal circle - is a mirror.
How did mirrors in ancient times?
Mirrors in ancient Egypt were made of bronze. They gave a fuzzy and dull image, but because of the high humidity quickly darkened and lost its reflective properties. Centuries passed, and began to make the silver mirror in Europe. Reflected in them distinct enough, but the main enemy of the mirrors was time. Silver dimmed, and in addition, cost is very expensive. In Russia, in the houses of rich people were damask mirror, made of steel. However, they quickly lose their original luster, mutneli and covered with a reddish patina - rusted. Then the people did not know that to prevent damage to the reflective surface can be quite simple: to protect it from moisture and air.
What was needed was a thin and transparent material. For example, glass. But neither the Egyptians, not the Romans, Slavs or transparent glass sheets did not know how to do. Murano masters did it alone. It was the Venetians were able to optimize the process and understand the secrets of the manufacture of transparent glass. It happened at the end of XII-early XIII century. By the way, working with the Murano come up as blown glass ball turned into a flat sheet. However, the metal surface of the glass and could not manage to connect polished to a shine. As they do not stick together tightly cold and hot glass is always burst.
It was necessary to apply a thick sheet of glassa thin metal film. Finally, the technology was developed. On the smooth marble pedestal we put a sheet of tin and watered it with mercury. Tin dissolves in mercury, and after cooling with a film thickness of a cigarette paper, which was called amalgam. On top of it they put the glass. Amalgam stuck. This was done first mirror, more or less similar to modern. Venetians for centuries kept the secret of mirror technology. The rulers of European countries, and then to know the rich and were willing to give much of his fortune, if only to buy a mirror.
Once the Republic of Venice gave the mirrorFrench queen Marie de Medici. It was the most precious gift of all, received on the occasion of the marriage. The size of the mirror was no longer book. It was estimated at 150,000 francs.
Carry with you a tiny mirror has become fashionableat the court of the majority of European countries. French minister Colbert did not sleep at night, knowing that French money literally swim in Venice and never return. And then he vowed to uncover the secret of Venetian masters zerkalschikov.
Ambassador of France went to Venice and bribedthree Venetians, who owned the secret of making mirrors. One dark autumn night by boat from the island of Murano fled several masters. In France, they hid so well that the spies did not manage to find them. After several years in the forests of the Norman opened the first French factory mirror glass.
Venetians have ceased to be a monopoly. The mirror was worth considerably less. Buy it could well afford not only the nobles, but also merchants and wealthy craftsmen. The rich already and did not know where else would attach another bought a mirror.
Reflective glass sheet is mounted on the beds, wardrobes, tables and chairs. Tiny pieces of mirrors even sewed in ball gowns.
In Spain there was a mirror of torture. Man put in a room with mirrored walls, mirrored ceiling and the floor. In the room the whole situation was just always burning lamp. And from all sides people saw only his reflection. A few days later a prisoner of the mirror room just went crazy.
But even the best craftsmen can not do large mirror. And the quality is poor. The glass sheet was uneven, and therefore distorted reflection.
The evolution of manufacturing technology mirrors
The French still managed to make bigmirror. In the wide and long iron tables with boards-limiters, they poured molten glass, then rolled his shaft, made of cast iron. But the glass was still uneven. Then this sheet poured sand and placed on top of one another and begin to displace the glass sheets with respect to each other. The work was monotonous, tedious and laborious. To create a small-sized mirror two masters engaged in polishing of about 30 hours. However, after the grains of sand glass becomes opaque because of the huge number of microscopic scratches. Polished glass a small plaque, padded cell. This work took up to 70 hours.
After a while, the work began to makecars. At the round table was poured gypsum. With the help of a crane on top of the glass sheets laid. Then rolled up under the table of the grinding wheels, and then the polishing, the machine, which quickly spun.
Subsequently, instead of the tin on the glasssteel surface to cause mercury. However, all the known species of humanity, and the compositions of the amalgam gave too pale reflection, and in the manufacture of the master constantly had to deal with harmful mercury vapor. From this technology gave about 150 years ago. On the glass sheet steel to apply a very thin layer of silver. In order not to damage the top surface is covered with paint. These mirrors reflect the quality is almost not inferior to modern, but were expensive. Now the vacuum chamber is sprayed onto the glass are not silver, and aluminum. not more than 1 gram of the metal takes on the 1 square meter, and because the mirror is cheap and readily available.