By the same authors

From the same journal

Street mirrors, surveillance, and urban communities in early modern Finland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Published copy (DOI)


  • Timo Ylimaunu
  • James Symonds
  • Anna-Kaisa Salmi
  • Risto Nurmi
  • Titta Kallio-Seppä
  • Tiina Kuokkanen
  • Annemari Tranberg
  • Paul R. Mullins


Publication details

JournalJournal of Material Culture
DateE-pub ahead of print - 20 Feb 2014
DatePublished (current) - Jun 2014
Issue number2
Number of pages23
Pages (from-to)145-167
Early online date20/02/14
Original languageEnglish


This article discusses street mirrors or ‘gossip mirrors’, in terms of urban social relations and surveillance. Street mirrors were introduced to coastal towns in Sweden and Finland in the 18th and early 19th centuries and may still be found in well-preserved towns with historic wooden centres. The authors argue that the introduction of monitoring and spying devices, such as street mirrors, occurred in the 18th century due to increased urban populations and feelings of insecurity caused by greater regional and transnational mobility. Mirrors, in this sense, were one
material mechanism in the process of modernization and the development of individuality.

    Research areas

  • Gossip, Identity, Individuality, Street mirrors, Surveillance

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