Kijowski melts into likeness of hippo when he checks
silver backing of completed mirror. Distortion is
caused by planned use of curves in fine plate glass
inspectors Dominie Kozak (in red sweater) and Arther Michaux
take time out to view reflections. Mirrors (l. to r.)
stretch body, elongate legs, and lengthen torso
Head of Richard
Brandsletter wavers crazily as he examines silver solution
CAN broaden the head, swell the stomach, and shorten the
legs," the worker said seriously. "Of course, on
the other hand, we can also stretch the legs, flatten
the stomach, and produce a wonderfully pointed pinhead.
It all depends on where we throw the curve." He
was not a grade B-movie scientist planning a
Frankensteinian monster, but one of small group of
technicians who make millions of Americans grin, giggle
and shriek in the nations amusement parks.
product is a staple mirth maker: crazy mirrors.
competition of roller coasters, Ferris wheels and cotton
candy, crazy mirrors are still tops in popularity.
But the making of a laughing mirror is no laughing
matter. To the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company it
is a highly scientific operation, calling for great
skill and know-how. The company, among its many
other activities, builds about 150 custom-made
distortion mirrors annually. First, the glass is
cut, placed on a mold and then heat-treated until
various contours are produced. "It's the curve."
said a shop steward, "that gives the distorting effect".
The men who
tickle America's funny bone take their work seriously.
"It's a trying and exacting process." said one of
them. "But. believe me life in a crazy mirror
factory can be a lot of fun - maybe, though that's only
my distorted point of view."
Curved glass is lifted from
mold after heat process by Ludwig Balasek (r.) and James Fox
Kuchta removes excess silver solution while glass grotesquely
contorts her image
Massive-headed elf gazes at
Carmen Scipps as he inspects newly finished crazy mirror.
Aritcle courtsey of Mitch
O'Connell Blogspot -
How Funhouse Mirrors are Made