Mad as a Hatter, an Adder, or an Oyster

Alice's Mad Tea Party by John Tenniel, 19th Century.
Alice’s Mad Tea Party by John Tenniel, 19th Century.

I’m guest posting today over at Geri Walton’s wonderful History of the 18th and 19th Centuries blog!  If you would like to learn more about the perils of 19th century mercury-based hat making and the origins of the popular phrase “as mad as a hatter,” do stop by and have a look at my new article Mad as a Hatter, an Adder, or an Oyster.  You can click through HERE.

Leave a Reply

3 Comments on "Mad as a Hatter, an Adder, or an Oyster"

Notify of
avatar
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Sarah Waldock
Guest

the dangers inherent in hat making were identical to those to be found in those producing ormolu, which meant working in mercury vapour, such that few survived over the age of 40. France was the first to ban this trade as too dangerous in 1830. Nice research, by the way, and still the jury is out over the origins….

Mimi Matthews
Guest

Thanks, Sarah :) Very interesting about ormolu! All these things just go to show that, as dangerous as some working conditions can be today, they certainly don’t hold a candle to those in the 19th and early 20th centuries!

Sarah Waldock
Guest

I have the advantage of having blogged on the trades that could kill you in Austen’s time… I touched the surface!

wpDiscuz