Antique Mirror Rehab

Mark and I picked up this antique quarter-sawn oak mirror at an antique store in Chicago in 2017 and its been hanging above our fireplace ever since. As we painted the fireplace and added the surrounding shelves, we took the mirror down and replaced the back of the frame.

The original backing, left, was in pretty bad shape. It had grown flimsy and moldy and there were old spider sacks between the layers. Mark has lately become quite the talented picture frame maker, so he had all the tools necessary to repair and replace the backing.

On the back of the mirror glass was written the year 1914 and the insignia for the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company. PPGCo. According to Wikipedia, the “Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company was founded in 1883 by Captain John Baptiste Ford and John Pitcairn, Jr., at Creighton, Pennsylvania. PPG soon became the United States’ first commercially successful producer of high-quality, thick flat glass using the plate process. PPG was also the world’s first plate glass plant to power its furnaces with locally produced natural gas, an innovation which rapidly stimulated widespread industrial use of the cleaner-burning fuel. PPG expanded quickly. By 1900, known as the “Glass Trust”, it included 10 plants, had a 65 percent share of the U.S. plate glass market, and had become the nation’s second largest producer of paint. Today, known as PPG Industries, the company is a multibillion-dollar, Fortune 500 corporation with 150 manufacturing locations around the world. It now produces coatings, glass, fiberglass, and other chemicals.”

Before replacing the frame backing, Mark and I placed a postcard to the next people who take the mirror apart.

Now the mirror will last for another 100+ years.

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