Glitter describes an assortment of small colourful reflective particles that comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Glitter particles reflect light at different angles causing the surface to sparkle or shimmer. Glitter is like confetti sparkles or sequins but somewhat smaller. Since prehistoric times has been made and used as decoration from many different materials including stones such as malachite galena and mica as well as insects and glass. Modern glitter is usually manufactured from plastic.
The first production of modern plastic is credited to the American machinist Henry Ruschmann who found a way to cut plastic or mylar sheets into glitter in 1934. During World War II with German glass unavailable Ruschmann found a market for scrap material ground into glitter made of plastics. He founded Meadowbrook Inventions Inc. in Bernardsville New Jersey the company is still a producer of industrial. Decades later he filed a patent for a mechanism for cross-cutting films as well as other related inventions.
Today over 20,000 varieties of glitter are manufactured in a vast number of different colors sizes and materials. Over 10,000,000 pounds was purchased between the years of 1989 and 2009 alone. Commercial glitter ranges in size from 0.002 square inches to 0.25 square inches. First flat multi-layered sheets are produced combining plastic coloring and reflective material such as aluminium titanium dioxide iron oxide and bismuth oxychloride. These sheets are then cut into tiny particles of many shapes including squares rectangles and hexagons.
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