The book of trades; or, Familiar descriptions of the most useful trades, manufactures, and arts practised in England : and the manner in which the workmen perform their various employments.
(undated, inscribed 1829)
The looking-glass maker., p. 61
61 THE LOOKING-GLASS MAKER. This business consists in laying tin foil on polished pieces of glass by the assistance of quicksilver, so as to produce reflection by effectually obstructing the rays of light ; and afterwards fitting the glass to frames of various sizes, either for the use of cham- bers or dressing-rooms, or for the purposes of decoration in the houses and mansions of the great. The polishing of the plates for this business is usually effected by other hands before they come to the Looking-glass Maker. The usual mode of making glass smooth, and in every respect proper to re- ceive the tin foil and quicksilver, is to use first of all fine sand water, then emery of different degrees of fineness, and lastly, colcothar of vitriol, or, as it is more com- monlyi called, crocus martis, or purple brown. The polishing instrument is a block of wood covered with several folds of cloth and carded wool, so as to make a fine elastic cushion. This block is worked by the hand. The plate is then fastened to the table with plaister, covered with colcothar; and the polisher finishes his operation by working it backwards and forwards. This trade is in very few hands, and therefore profitable. G
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