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How Was Glitter Invented?

How Was Glitter Invented?

Glitter is a beloved decorative material that is used to add sparkle and shine to various surfaces, crafts, and clothing items. But have you ever wondered how glitter was invented?

The origins of glitter can be traced back to the 1930s, when a machinist named Henry Ruschmann was working in New Jersey, USA. Ruschmann was interested in finding a way to create a reflective material that could be used in various applications, including cosmetics, printing, and industrial coatings.

Ruschmann experimented with different materials, including ground-up glass and metal flakes, but he found that they were too heavy and would sink to the bottom of whatever they were added to. He then stumbled upon a substance called Mylar, a type of polyester film that was thin, lightweight, and had a shiny surface.

Ruschmann began cutting the Mylar film into tiny pieces, which he then coated with different colors of metallic powder. He found that the resulting material was lightweight, easy to work with, and had a unique reflective quality that made it perfect for decorative purposes.

Ruschmann patented his invention in 1934 under the name "Modern Glitter." However, the early versions of glitter were not as safe as the glitter we know today. They were made with toxic materials, such as lead and mercury, which could be harmful to both humans and the environment.

It wasn't until the 1980s that the use of these dangerous materials was phased out, and safer alternatives were introduced. Today, glitter is typically made from a form of plastic called PET (polyethylene terephthalate), which is safe and non-toxic.

Glitter is now widely used in arts and crafts, fashion, makeup, and even in some industrial applications. It comes in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes, and can be added to almost any surface to give it a sparkling finish.

In conclusion, glitter was invented by a machinist named Henry Ruschmann in the 1930s, who was looking for a reflective material to use in various applications. He discovered Mylar film, which he cut into tiny pieces and coated with metallic powder to create the first versions of glitter. Although early versions of glitter were made with toxic materials, it has evolved over the years to become a safe and popular decorative material.

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