What it’s essential learn about glitter

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It’s old. Very, very old.

I assumed that glitter was invented some time within the Victorian period, in all probability for the sole function of gaudying-up sentimental greeting cards. But glitter is way older than I ever guessed.

A while round 40,000 B.C., historic humans began dusting sparkly crushed minerals over their cave paintings. As early because the sixth century A.D., Mayans were adding glitter made of mica to their temple walls, in accordance with National Geographic. And in 2010, the BBC reported that reflective materials was discovered mixed in with what’s believed to be the residue of fifty,000-yr-old Neanderthal cosmetics.

It’s not made of metal.

Aluminum, maybe tin: That’s what I assumed glitter was made of. Nope. Fashionable glitter was invented in 1934 in New Jersey, of all places, when American machinist Henry Ruschmann figured out a technique to grind plastic into glitter. Eventually the raw materials evolved into polyester film layered with coloring and reflective materials “fed by way of a rotary knife slicing system … kind of a mix of a paper shredder and a wood chipper,” according to glitter manufacturer Joe Coburn. Earlier than that, glitter was made of glass. Not something you’d want to eat.

It’s everywhere.

Tons of glitter are produced every year (actually, tons). There are 20,000 types of glitter available from pioneer glitter-makers Meadowbrook Innovations alone, starting from the run-of-the-mill craft glitter you remember from kindergarten to “particular effects” glitter for industrial applications. It may be as fantastic as dust or as chunky as confetti. As glitter producer Coburn remarked on Reddit in 2014, an order of “2 tons a month is a very small size

You possibly can see a glitter-making machine in motion here — it’s disturbingly efficient at reducing thin sheets of polyester film into gleaming little grains. Glitter isn’t biodegradable and most people don’t recycle it. So it’s not going anywhere.

You’ll be able to eat it.

Hold on! You’ll be able to’t eat just any glitter. It must be edible glitter, a hip new condiment that gained fame on Instagram in 2017. For the reason that first twinkling photographs showed up, it’s made an look on everything from donuts to bagels to pizza.

In the curiosity of significant academic analysis, I imagine it’s essential that I investigate and eat edible glitter. What’s it made of? When was it invented? Most vital of all, what would happen if somebody baked it right into a cake and ate it?

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