Bringing a touch of whimsy from Lewis Carroll’s iconic character, “The Mad Hatter,” the Victorian era witnessed a peculiar fashion trend among men. Hats, a staple accessory for gentlemen of the time, were treated with none other than mercury! Yes, that’s right—mercury was applied to the rabbit fur used to coat the hats, giving them a soft and luxurious feel.
However, those who worked in hat-making industries or came into prolonged contact with mercury experienced unfortunate psychological effects, and the price of fashion sometimes led to unforeseen consequences in those curious times. The phrase “mad as a hatter” may have its origins in this eccentric fashion practice, where exposure to mercury led to mental disturbances. Fashion has always had its peculiarities!
In the Victorian era, it was not appropriate for High-society singletons to flirt with one another unless a chaperone was involved. To get around these human buzzkills, people would slip one another "escort cards" with flirty messages. These small pieces of paper carried hidden messages of love and desire, allowing individuals to express their feelings discreetly. It was like a secret code of courtship, a game of wits and subtlety.
These days, in the age of instant communication, a quick text or swipe can convey our romantic interest in mere seconds. It's efficient, but perhaps a bit less enchanting than the delicate dance of flirtation carried out through beautifully crafted escort cards.
If you were around during the Victorian era, avoiding the River Thames at all costs would be wise. A lack of sufficient sewage systems meant that TONS of human waste was dumped into the river EVERY SINGLE DAY. Despite this, people during this time used the Thames as their main drinking water source...Yup.
It's safe to say that water filters and purification methods were not yet the norm. So, the next time you're sipping clean water from a fancy bottle, take a moment to appreciate how far we've come from the days of unwittingly consuming sewage-infested river water. Cheers to modern sanitation!
Off the Rails
The delightful medical theories of the Victorian era never fail to raise an eyebrow. Among the plethora of eccentric beliefs, one truly stands out: the notion that the railway itself was responsible for triggering mental breakdowns. According to some doctors, the thunderous sound of the train combined with its jolting, uncomfortable motion was thought to possess the power to push passengers to the very edge of sanity.
Just imagine the uproar had they been confronted with the advent of airplanes! It's truly fascinating to reflect on the evolution of medical theories, leaving behind such quaint notions of railway-induced mental disturbances in the annals of history.
In their quest for perfectly defined eyebrows, Victorian women were willing to take risks that would leave modern beauty enthusiasts wide-eyed. The obsession with full brows led them to an eyebrow-raising solution: applying mercury to their precious arches. Yes, you heard it right—poisonous mercury! Night after night, they would delicately rub this hazardous substance onto their brows, oblivious to the potential dangers lurking beneath their beauty rituals.
It's astonishing to think about the risks they were willing to take in pursuit of fashionable brows. Fortunately, our understanding of beauty and safety has evolved over time, and we now have safer alternatives for achieving the perfect brow game. Remember, beauty should never come at the expense of our health!