Probably the first mirror was a reflecting pool of water. Later humans developed a method to create and manufacture mirrors. Human as we are there is a self consciousness to be able to identify the image we see in a mirror as ourselves. Other species are not able to make that connection. Have you ever watched a dog bark at itself while looking into a mirror along the floor?
When did man mind develop the first artificial mirror? Perhaps this is not possible for us to pinpoint. Over the test of time mirrors remain a focal point in human lives. We know that image we see is our self, but humans also take this rudimentary concept to a different level to create beauty, grace, elegance, mystery / fun and a scientific use in our lives to compliment the functional value. Let's take a look at some of these features.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. My style may not be your style, but what you envision, whether by shape or design, can be a beautiful mirror. Round or square, ornate or simple it is beautiful to you.
Grace is an attribute often associated with humans as in the "graceful ballerina". But how does the ballerina become graceful. Most often it requires hours of practice in front of a full length mirror to achieve this goal. The material used to create the reflection can distort or enhance the reflection. It can be made of material that brings out the gracefulness in the actions reflected.
Elegance is a more formal view. The framework around the mirror wherever wood, metal, or a composite material can be painted, gilded or polished to name a few finishes to enhance the mirror itself. The elegant flourishes that a frame brings can be ornate or perceptible Venetian. Hanging on the wall or standing against a wall they adorn the room with pomp and circumstance.
Mystery rings to mind smoke and mirrors of the magical side of mirrors. Illusion has long fascinated the human mind. The Fun House of yesteryear brought a smile or a fright to the face observing the illusions created by the positioning of mirrors. The magicians illusion is what still fascinates us today. The hand may be quicker than the eye but the mirror is what creates the illusion that you saw something different than what was really there.
Science uses mirrors for many applications. Over time humans have developed ways of exploring the universe using reflecting telescopes. Legends tell tales of using mirrors to generate fire. Early lighthouses used concave mirrors. Otherventions using the concept of mirrors include the microwave, generators, solar ovens to name just a few.
That which is so common in our lives today, the simple mirror on the wall, is also far more complex than it originally appeared. Mirrors are functional, decorative and create space in a crowded room. But the reality is that they are not just for home decorating, but also for thrills and pleasure associated with illusion, elegance and grace associated with the arts, and scientific discovery that spills over intoventions that dominate our every day living. Simply put, the mirror has far more depth in our lives than we perceive.