Monday, December 14, 2009

TMI Tuesday.......




A Mr. Arthur Fonzarelli from Milwaukee Wisconsin asks...

"Aaaaaaaaaaa...Mr. Knowital. How do mirrors work?"

Dear Fonz er Arthur...Generally speaking, by reflecting light!
Most objects don't give off any light of their own. They can only be seen because light from other sources such as The Sun, a candle, a light bulb, hits them and bounces off. Not all of the light bounces though. Some bounces, some is absorbed, and some is transmitted through the object. The part that does not bounce back is the reflection.. Flat shiny surfaces like water, metal, and mirrors reflect light well because very little of the light is absorbed or transmitted, most is reflected!

For centuries, mankind's only mirrors were pools of water, or polished metal. The first mirrors were made by Venetian craftsmen in the 1300's. They covered the back of a piece of glass with an amalgam of tin and mercury, rubbed flat and smooth. A piece of wool cloth would then be laid on top of the mercury, and pressed flat with iron weights for more than a week. Then the excess mercury would be drained off. This method remained a carefully guarded secret, and for centuries Venice had a monopoly on mirrors !!
In 1665 the chief Minister to Louis IV of France went to Italy and bribed 18 Venetian mirrorsmiths to move to France. Soon after their defection, the French passed a law banning Venetian mirrors!!
Three years later a Frenchman named Louis Lucas beat the Venetians at their own game. He invented plate glass! Venetians knew only how to make blown glass, and the size of the mirror was quite limited. But Lucas discovered how to pour molten glass onto an iron table where it could be flattened out with an Iron roller. Now mirrors could be made much larger. Soon France became famous for its large mirrors. Louis IV soon purchased 700 mirrors to line the hallways of the Palace of Versailles!
In 1835 German chemist Justus von Liebig discovered a way to make mirrors better. He invented a process for using silver instead of tin and mercury. He flushed the glass with silver salts, then covered it in a solution of silver nitrate. A chemical reaction caused the metalic silver to adhere to the glass. It was then coated with shellac and painted black. Thats how mirrors were made for the next 150 years!
I believe all mirrors are made in China now......

Good Question, Thanks!

Crazy Mirror Facts....

*In the 1600's the Dutch used to cover their mirrors with curtains when not in use, lest the reflectiveness be all used up! ( Crazy Dutch Bastards )

*In ancient China, reflective pieces of polished metal were placed over door knobs so that the evil spirits would scare themselves away!

*The word Mirror comes from the Latin Mirari, meaning to 'Wonder At'.
It's also the root word for Miracle and Admire!

*Building Mgr's install mirrors in lobbies because people complain less about waiting for slow elevators when occupied by looking at themselves.

*Lastly...Take a large piece of paper, and with a sharpie and your VERY best penmanship write down..."3M TA3"...Now hold up to the mirror!

Peace...!!!

17 comments:

Susan Anderson said...

*In the 1600's the Dutch used to cover their mirrors with curtains when not in use, lest the reflectiveness be all used up! ( Crazy Dutch Bastards )
Crazy Dutch Bastards indeed!

And I'm not falling for that last one, LOL.

Patty said...

And now here's something that you'll really like!

Lynn said...

One of my clients is a shop that sells lots of mirrors and the manager's office is even wall to wall mirrors. As we were talking about her print job, I noticed my bangs needed fluffing. She said, "Are you looking at yourself?" ...Well, yeah.

Serena said...

Galen through the looking glass. Who knew?;)

Thom said...

Did Alice in Wonderland help you with this? Hmmm I love the last one. Cracked me up.

big Jenn said...

I am beginning to "wonder at" what I've been seeing in my mirror lately I'll tell you! jeNN

Larry said...

mirror mirror on thewallwho's the fairest one of all a little more information tan I ever thought of. Thanks for sharing.

Dianne said...

I am interested in the perception of light so your mirror explanation was a lure for me, I say,.....won ton... to your mirror!

Ha! Keep me laughing and I'll post why it keeps me alive!
GLAD

Shadow said...

mirror mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all...

Brian Miller said...

there has got to be something wrong with having 700 mirrors...

JStar said...

Interesting...

Jessie said...

So the "Fonz" didn't know how mirrors worked? hmmmmm...interesting little tidbits here. i personally do not care for mirrors, and i would not enjoy looking at myself while i wait for a slow elevator. i would prefer they would invest in faster equipment.

i didn't need a mirror -- i know what you said, well, typed ...
shame, shame, shame on you!!!

cool pics though -- although i never was a bullwinkle fan.

buffalodick said...

Not to mention the parabolic mirrors used in exploring the universe..

lime said...

so were venetian mirror makers as mad as hatters with mercury poisoning?

Akelamalu said...

Whenever there was a death in the family my granny used to put a cloth over all the mirrors. I have no idea why!

Cloudia said...

Watch out! The mirror people may come through and force US to ape THEIR every move!


Aloha, Friend


Comfort Spiral

Cindy said...

Don't know the reason Akelamalu's granny did what she did but, my jewish friend does the same thing. Might be a jewish thing OR a german thing. I have my home loaded with mirrors...everywhere. I can pick up those heavy beveled leaded ones for a song 'round here. My brother's girlfriend is Native American, she is freaked out to come to my home...the mirrors and spirits or something like that!