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June 11 2014

World’s Oldest Solar Device


During the sixth century BCE, Confucius wrote about the common use of curved mirrors shaped from shiny metal to concentrate the rays of the sun for making fire. These became known as yang­­-suis ­­– translating to solar ignitors, or burning mirrors.

According to the great philosopher, upon waking up the eldest son would attach a solar ignitor to his belt as he dressed for the day. It was his duty to focus the solar rays onto kindling to start the family’s cooking fire.

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