The age of the very first mirrors is about seven thousand years, metal was used for their manufacture: tin, bronze, rock crystal, copper, silver, gold and stones.
Archaeologists believe that pieces of polished obsidian (glass of volcanic origin) found in Turkey are the very first mirrors, but it was impossible to even distinguish shades of color in such mirrors.
In 1279, Franciscan John Peckam invented better mirrors by coating glass with a layer of lead. To do this, the glassblower poured molten tin into a hot glass ball, which spreads in an even layer over the glass surface, and when the ball cooled down, it was broken into pieces. However, the invention of mirrors close in quality to modern ones remains with the Venetians, who have learned to produce sheet mirrors. They made mirrors from tin foil, which was superimposed on a sheet of paper, on the other side the paper was covered with mercury, a sheet of paper was put on the mercury again, then the resulting cake was covered with glass and the paper was taken out. Until 1835, this process of making mirrors remained practically unchanged, until a professor from Germany, Justus von Liebig, discovered that with the help of silver, more sparkling and clearer mirrors could be achieved.
In 1454, an order was issued forbidding mirrors to leave the country, and those who had already done so, ordered to return home. The "non-returnees" were threatened with punishment in relation to their relatives. Assassins were sent in the footsteps of especially stubborn fugitives. As a result of these actions, the mirror remained incredibly rare and fantastically expensive for three centuries. The cost of one Venetian mirror was equal to the cost of a small sea vessel, and in order to buy them, French aristocrats were sometimes forced to sell entire estates.
In the 16th century, the Queen of France, Anne of Austria, was delighted with mirrors and bought dozens of them from the Venetians for big money. Finance Minister Colbert could not accept this and sent his confidants to Murano (a city in Venice), who were able to bribe four Murano craftsmen and, under cover of night, took them to France in a small boat. After some time, the masters began to die at the hands of hired killers, so Venice tried to maintain its monopoly. But the French still managed to adopt the secrets of making mirrors and surpassed their teachers. After the opening of the French mirror manufactory, prices for mirrors began to decline sharply and the art of making mirrors spread throughout Europe.
Previously, mirrors were not considered simple household items. They were intended for ritual ceremonies or served as a talisman. With the beginning of the Middle Ages, glass mirrors completely disappeared: almost at the same time, all religious denominations believed that the devil himself was looking at the world through the mirrored glass.
In Russia, it was believed that a mirror is a window into the world of the dead, and if a person looks in the mirror for a long time, then one can die. This is the origin of the custom, which is still observed, to hang all the mirrors in the house of the deceased. They did this due to the fact that the soul of the deceased, not seeing its reflection in the mirror, could be frightened and, most importantly, that it would not take the souls of its loved ones with it.
The belief that a broken mirror a harbinger of trouble appeared later, and at the same time among several peoples. Perhaps they thought so because during natural disasters or wars, fragile mirrors break first of all.
In ancient times, warriors always took mirrors with them on campaigns, like talismans, they believed that mirrors reflect death.
There is an opinion that mirrors have their own memory, they remember everything that happens in front of them. Some physicists agree with this opinion, they argue that at the molecular level in all mirrors, images freeze and that a person may learn to read them in the near future.
Some scientists believe that mirrors are capable of reflecting even different kinds of energies emanating from a person, objects and even space.