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Solution No. 1:

Nitrate of Silver (pure) . . . . . . . .  40 grains

Nitrate of Silver (pure) . . . . . . . .  32 grains

Distilled Water  . . . . . . . . . . . .   1 pint

Ammonia, 26% . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  To be used as directed.

Take one pint of distilled water, pour 4 ounces of this into a

glass, and into this put 40 grains of Nitrate of Silver.

Dissolve the Nitrate of Silver thoroughly by stirring the water

with glass strip (no spoon, or stick, or metal should be used).

When it is all thoroughly dissolved, take your medicine dropper

and drop 26% Ammonia Water into it one drop at a time;  at first

it will turn dark;  keep dropping the ammonia until it becomes

clear again, which will generally take about thirty drops;

stopping the addition as soon as it clears.

Very often after dropping 30 drops of Ammonia, it does not

clear.  In that case stir the solution slowly with your left

hand and continue dropping the ammonia with the right hand, one

drop at a time until it does clear, which it will generally do

after dropping a few more times.  If after dropping seven drops

more it does not clear (which takes 37 drops in all) do not drop

any more Ammonia, as you are apt to spoil the solution.

Then add 32 grains of the Nitrate of Silver, additional.

Dissolve by stirring with your glass strip.  When it is all

dissolved, pour the mixture back into the pint of water first

measured out.  Let it stand for one hour or more to allow the

sediment to settle on the bottom.  Then filter the solution

through white blotting paper;  this blotting paper you should

put into your funnel, cone-shaped so that the solution will have

to pass through it before it can enter the bottle (any druggist

can show you how to fold filter paper).  Put the funnel into the

neck of the bottle and proceed to pour the solution into the

funnel.  In this way the solution passes through the blotting

paper before it gets into the bottle, which is called filtering.

 After the solution is filtered into the bottle it should look

like clear water.  Cork bottle tightly, and keep in a cool dark

place and label it No. 1 solution.

Solution No. 2:

24 grains of Rochelle Salts

25 grains of Nitrate of Silver (pure)

1 pint of Distilled Water

Take one pint of warm distilled water and pour it into a

porcelain lined vessel, put it on the stove, and then put 24

grains of Rochelle Salts into it, and let this boil strongly for

about one minute, and then add 25 grains of Nitrate of Silver,

and let it boil for five minutes longer, take it form the stove

and let it stand one hour or longer to allow the sediment to

settle.  As soon as the solution is cool it is best to pour it

out of the porcelain lined vessel into some glass vessel or

other porcelain lined vessel, as the vessel that you boiled this

solution in will be quite dirty.  When it is allowed to settle

in another vessel the solution will be much clearer when you go

to filter it.  You want to bottle this solution just the same

way as you do the No. 1 solution and label this one No. 2


Note:  This solution will boil away a little when preparing it,

but do no add any more water to it.


In the first place a clean room should be used for the work.

Place the glass on a level surface and bank the sides to prevent

the solution running off, or place in a plating bath tube.  It

is not necessary that you should have a steam table in order to

make good mirrors.  By having your room at a temperature of 85

to 100 degrees F and using warm distilled water to rinse and

level your glass with, you can easily get your glass up to the

temperature of 90 to 100 degrees F., which will cause the silver

to precipitate.  The glass to be silvered must be thoroughly

cleaned as the least speck of dust, grease, dirt or finer marks

will show and cause you trouble.  Place wooden wedges under the

corners of the glass having warm distilled water on the glass

and change the wedges under it until the water lays in an even

depth all over the glass;  this is to warm the glass and get it

even.  When you have the glass warm and level, raise one side or

end level, raise one side or end and gently let all the water

run off, now lay the glass gently back in the same place.  Then

pour No. 1 and No. 2 Silvering solutions into your traduate

glass or glass pitcher in equal parts;  stir them as quickly as

possible with your glass strip, and then pour them onto the

glass by first starting at the center and letting them flow out,

then start at one corner and keep going around in a circular way

until the entire surface of the glass is covered, and let the

solution lay on it in an even layer.  Let the solutions stand on

the glass for about 30 minutes;  then tip the glass on one

corner on end and drain off the solution - drain all that will

run off;  rinse the glass coating off thoroughly with distilled

water, and stand glass on one end to drain and dry.  When dry

apply backing paint.

If the silver coating is not heavy enough it needs a second

coat, which you can do by pouring on the solutions as you did

the first coat, after the first coat has been rinsed off with

distilled water and allowed to drain for a few minutes.  Do not

let the first coat get dry before putting on the second coat.

You will get a much heavier coating of silver by putting the

bottles which contain your solutions into hot water a few

minutes before you mix and use them.


The best way to do this is by taking some polishing Rouge in

powdered form, the same as jewelers use for polishing

silverware, or powdered prepared Whiting which you can get at

any drug store.  Take the Rouge or Whiting, and put into a bag

of two or three thicknesses of bed ticking or cotton flannel and

sew this up;  then put the bag into water to soak up.  Make a

polisher by taking a piece of wood 4 by 4 inches and about 9

inches long and bore a hole in each end and near the top to take

a broom handle, the handles should be about 4 inches long on

each end of your polisher, so as to allow you  a good hold.

Then get some felt about one inch thick;  if possible to get -

use the felt that harness makers use for padding harness - which

is about one inch thick, as it is the best to use.  Then screw

the felt onto the bottom of the polisher, with brass screws.  Be

sure that the screws are counter-sunk, so that they will not

come in contact with your glass when you are polishing it and

scratch it.

Once the felt is fastened on, put the polisher into water and

let it soak.  When polishing and cleansing your glass all you

have to do is to take the bag from water, and squeeze a little

of the Rouge or Whiting upon the glass;  then take your polisher

from the water, and with both hands take the polisher by the

handles and proceed to polish the glass right to the edges.

This will take about 10 minutes.  When glass is polished, rinse

off with distilled water until it is perfectly clean.

To make good mirrors you want to use a good grade of glass.  The

German or American Plate, either double or single, are the best

cheaper grades to use, as they are well polished and free form

defects.  If your local dealer does not handle this glass he can

easily get it for you. The Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co., 622 Fort

Duquesne Blvd., Pittsburgh, PA is a very good firm to do

business with.  They have branch offices in most all the larger

cities - see classified phone book.


The very best backing paint that you can use is made by taking

equal parts of White Demer Varnish and Asphaltum Varnish and

mixing.  If it is too heavy to work freely, add a little

turpentine.  Apply this paint to the silver coating as soon as

it is dry, with a camel's hair brush as lightly as possible - as

the silver coating can easily be rubbed off.  One coat is

enough, but if you wish to apply a second coat you can do so

before the first coat gets thoroughly dry.


For removing old backing paint, take strong lye and put it in a

little water, and pour this on the old paint while the mirror is

in a level position; and let it stand until the paint becomes

soft;  then take a small mop and mop it up.   Sometimes the

paint is a little hard to remove, in which case you can take a

strong piece of cardboard and scrape it off by grasping the

cardboard in both hands, and pushing forward with enough

pressure to cause the cardboard to go between the paint and the

glass.  Another way is to buy a can of Boston or other kind of

paint and varnish remover, and use according to directions.  If

the silver still sticks to the glass, pour undiluted nitric acid

on it and let stand until the back can easily be removed with a

mop or rag.  Then clean your glass as directed.


These mirrors, although new to the public at the present time -

are old to manufacturers, having been made and installed in

designated places several years ago.  These can be made in any

one of three ways.

(1)  The ordinary mirroring solution is diluted from 50% to 75%

with distilled water.

(2)  In making the mirroring solution use 1/2 to 3/4 less Silver

Nitrate and Rochelle Salts, but do not reduce the amount of

water used.

(3)  The ordinary mirroring solution is used but let it set to

deposit only half as long as you do ordinary mirroring, and pour

off the balance of the water.  If a mirror is placed under the

glass that is being silvered, on an angle, the reflections of

the results of precipitation will be clearly shown and you can

tell when to discard the water on the glass and also note the


When silvered, if held up to the face, it can be looked through

from the front, seeing everything in front of it clearly, but to

anyone on the other side or front of the mirror, it looks like

just an ordinary mirror showing their image and they are unable

to see your features at the back.

When silvering is dry, varnish with good transparent spar

varnish, using a thin coat with a soft haired brush.  Collodion

thinned with acetone is also used for backing.  If either of

these can be put on with a spray gun it will be much better and

danger of scratching on the thin coat of silver is reduced or

eliminated altogether.  For greater safety and durability, place

a glass of the same size over the mirror back. This can be held

in a frame with quarter round or smaller stock fastened with

brads or long thin screws.

This type of mirror has been and still is in use in large

hotels, institutions, roadhouses, blind pigs, secret societies

and lodges, night clubs, cars, by secret police, detectives,

etc.  A pan of this type mirror is placed in a panel of the

front door.  The visitor sees only an ordinary mirror staring

him in the face, but the one on the other side of the door can

see through it and tell who it is without being seen or opening

the door.  This way many police raids on blind pigs, gambling

dens, houses of vice, etc. have been thwarted.  Usually a

curtain or blind is pulled down over the glass from the inside

so that patrons won't notice it and talk out of turn.


Pour upon a sheet of tin foil three drams of quicksilver to the

square foot of foil.  Rub smartly with a piece of buckskin until

the foil becomes brilliant.  Lay the glass upon a flat table

face downward, place the foil upon the damaged portion of the

glass, lay a sheet of paper over the foil, and place upon it a

block of wood or a piece of marble with a perfectly flat

surface, put upon it sufficient weight to press it down tight;

let it remain in this position a few hours.  The foil will

adhere to the glass.

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