This section is from the "Henley's Twentieth Century Formulas Recipes Processes" encyclopedia, by Norman W. Henley and others.
The insides of globes may be silvered, it is said, by the following methods:
Take 1/3 ounce of clean lead, and melt it with an equal weight of pure tin; then immediately add 0.5 ounce of bismuth, and carefully skim off the dross; remove the alloy from the fire, and before it grows cold add 5 ounces of mercury, and stir the whole well together; then put the fluid amalgam into a clean glass, and it is fit for use. When this amalgam is used for silvering, it should be first strained through a linen rag; then gently pour some ounces of it into the globe intended to be silvered; the alloy should be poured into the globe by means of a paper or glass funnel reaching almost to the bottom of the globe, to prevent it splashing the sides; the globe should be turned every way very slowly, to fasten the silvering.
Make an alloy of 3 ounces of lead, 2 ounces of tin, and 5 ounces of bismuth. Put a portion of this alloy into the globe and expose it to a gentle heat until the compound is melted; it melts at 197° F.; then by turning the globe slowly round, an equal coating may be laid on, which, when cold, hardens and firmly adheres.