Hello and welcome to bread and thread a podcast about food and domestic history. I’m liz.
And i’m hazel. We’re two friends who studied archaeology together and love history and today we have an extra person, do you want to introduce yourself?
Sure my name is kate i’m an amateur fashion historian and interpreter which is a fancy way of saying tour guide, i can be found on instagram as miss_minutia, i research historical costuming, i research fashion history and broadly social history of the 19th century.
That is a very extensive list of credentials.
Thanks, i was doing my best.
Our credentials are basically we like this.
Well we do have archaeology degrees.
Yeah, but they haven’t come up much.
That’s true we did that cause we liked it. so to have a person who kind of does this day-to-day is that they can as well. So what got you interested in 19th-century, particularly-ish
I think it’s more because I like that kind of situation men I was. I grew up surrounded by a bunch of ENT site from my great grandmother’s house that were family rooms and most of them are a little bit newer but they sort of 19th-century feel they were actually 19th-century, and I was kind of raised on antiques Roadshow and that sort of the bulk of what they focus on there which, of course, you know you can talk about like eurocentrism and what comes up on shows like that, obviously, but am that was sort of a wound up being and then when I moved to Boston. The museums I love working in are primarily 19th-century house museums have a lot of those appear so that’s just kind of anything similar dresses away so we always start talking about.
So what we can working on making and baking so Hazel show giving as I finish my parish and its glorious, it’s just so like the and I are man am I digests. I enjoy it very much and really confident when I wear it like about the sale of the high C use. Unlike rate tax havens and so yeah, I have many ideas but I still have a whole entire sheep’s fleece that I need to do something with and saving my next thing will be doing something with that side of Edmonton stirring the pot because before but am our postman in my village is also shepherd and I mentioned to him one day that I did spinning and the next week he left an entire sack at my doorstep containing a whole sheet, so I still have that process and I’m gonna get quite ambitious and if I have enough in limit myself like a coat and what about early years so through my ridiculous pie crust projects always glorious mess that you can kind of see the areas where specific numbers like cluster up to gable as if I was in any way a mathematician, it would probably be fascinating, but it’s distracting and that’s okay. I am enjoying rainbow pie very much, just a wonderful concept and I am working on. In early 1890s winter outfit for an outdoor holiday market event and join one of the museums I work at the coat is almost I have to do the buttons in the hem, which is more work than sound like because I see my buttholes. I hear and still gives you more control and I’m about the stellar hat which has a much longer rim and the fact that I realised, so I will get baseball cap territory, while fantastic. I did my first ever handsewn buttonholes. A couple of days ago and the shot I made is, yeah, it was fun, but like because I can’t imagine having to do the amount of them that there are Victorian dresses for gives more control and I find it kind of relaxing second dislike pub on something on Netflix and just bang out some hands-on buttonholes. Okay, so this episode is gonna be about a particular kind of dye used in the 19th century, I believe, and so I think a lot of people are familiar with the infamous arsenic green as you mentioned earlier inside spin in quick videos and was because the world over because one of the things that history has become aware of and latched onto the as pop as you didn’t really go much deeper, though interesting topics, so this is a basic overview green actually refers to 2 different kinds of dye is the first one was hard as she was green invented in 1775 by and i’ll probably mangle this pronunciation are Carl Wilhelm Sheila was more colourfast and brighter than earlier green dies and the reason was that it was full of chemicals, including our cover arsenate, which was the arsenic compound that help give the colour and if you were wondering, yes, you did not was toxic. He actually wrote the letter to a friend. Something along the lines by one should say something about the site I wanted to be a problem and then he didn’t
money to be made, I suppose,
yeah, I get what scruples get in the way of the Victorian age,
or even earlier.
Yeah, I guess technically all of the time-it’s just capitalism
was improved upon. In 1814, with the invention of something that was called either. Screen emerald green, the evergreen or 5 foot green, so try keeping track of all of those are a buy. Diaries and Bavarian in brass and start it was even brighter. There was more colour variation allowed depending on the grain size. The diet was even more colourfast. They finally published the recipe in 1822, which revealed groups are arsenic, so to speak, to basically ask the guys were very popular in the late 18th and the early mostly early to mid 19th centuries, and the thing of it as it wasn’t just green and lots of the new aniline chemical based dyes contained toxic chemicals move was actually another one that was known for causing particular amounts of trouble and interestingly enough. Screen was the first widespread chemical insecticides was a good sign in your clothing as starting in 1880s, people would spread it on on their crops to 1 to get rid of insects, just as it was like the dye. The same thing was how to combine advertisements for it for like. Screen insecticide or weedkiller. Things like that just to worry about mosques. If you close a drag insecticide so I would love to study a matter something so you could find arsenic green are pretty much in anything. The most popular image out is like the green ballgown like the feel ballgown fiddle vanity that later on, but it was in kennels. It was in toys. It was an upholstery and garment fabric, especially in our silk foliage likes of leaves and flowers and even candy. Actually, coloured candies and deserts doesn’t sound like a good idea to know if you use a small enough amounts you would probably okay emphasis on probably and it was very different for children and adults am there were news stories, including one 1840 Christmas party in London. Of course everyone’s name because of society, people where the hosts burned are green and gold candles and a bunch of children died from the arsenic fumes, gosh, how again totally like nobody’s name so you Will confirm how much of that was true. So grain of salt and all that, by and there was a danger enforced wallpaper was probably the biggest corporate because the pigment could flake off. Or it could outgas under warmer damp conditions, so any kind of like public concern about this at all. There actually was. There was a very interesting article published in 1861, where a silk flower maker named Matilda. Again, another name in public when a butcher told Matilda assurer to ignite your all wonderfully. She was a 19 year old. Our silk flower maker and she died on November 20, 1861. I’m not sure how the newspapers got hold of the story, but they they are the published typically worried accounts of her dying and am just a horrible agony she went through it. She died of severe arsenic poisoning and as a result, that whole thing became sort of a cause célèbre, if you will for upper-class women who are Rhiannon organisations like the lady cemetery association dedicated to various social causes, so am punch the magazine Punch published an article called pretty Poison Reeves with a quote that said, under such circumstances as these death is evidently about as accidental as it is when resulting from a railway collision occasioned by arrangements known to be faulty. So basically, even though Matilda’s death was ruled accidental. Everyone the sort of not buying that one lady named Miss Nicholson when around and visit other silk flower workshops all over London and found just absolutely wretched working conditions with these young girls and teenagers working with, you know, and can’t warning so my graphic medical descriptions ahead are like stories on their hands bloodied bandages. Some had just refused to work because they couldn’t take it anymore and all they knew was that the dye gave them quote a dreadful called “pretty dreadful, absolutely interesting how people definitely knew because I was listening to podcasts and things in jars is up, and though talking about this woman who arsenic murdered some family members blamed it on the wall paper saying I was really just inhaled. That’s why there was arsenic in the stomachs thing actually an interesting being that while knowing that you can use it as a defence in a murder trial and all of these things coming out about the working conditions and people still using it. It really was that it was done it was interesting, especially because after all these things came about the working conditions and that wasn’t the first time there was 1859 study of workshops in France, which actually resulted in French and German governments banning the pigments before the concern had even been raised to that level in in Britain and America, but the popular press, sort of. From what I found and again. My research was now exhausted by any means they sort of chose to focus more on the idea of the careless wealthy young lady who goes to a ball and arsenic died down and is dropping her suitors. Likewise, because addresses outgassing, arsenic pigments, so kind of interesting to. The whistleblowers were upper-class women and the people who are suffering the most. Were these working girls and teenagers at the popular press chose to turn into a thing of like holding a woman’s feel vanity and end the effect on others around her, not even aware of the dress herself for concerns of this lady who’s wearing the B arsenic dress and to do with those newspaper owners who probably need maybe also had some money invested in these diets as a guest ball on the interesting thing about looking at where the money is coming from is more in the case of William Morris wallpaper designer who actually despite campaigning for better conditions for some workers, he inherited Stark in arsenic mine. So, famously yet he famously called the concern over arsenic dye which fever and actively campaigned to get people to not believe in it
Really super interesting to know because I got quite interested in the life of William Morris was reading around them. Yes, as one of the things they don’t tend to tell you is like a hero is like British, all held up as well, as you know this person who thought the art for the masses, in better working conditions and things so turns out he was a full wave at people and history can be like really amazing socially on one axis and then you look at something else.
And there is a clear sort of conflict of interest because were complicated yeah so consumers didn’t suffer from the arsenic poisoning. There was this to go off a laundry list. There is 1848 article in the Lancet about a brother and sister who got sick after working a toy rabbit. Their mother gave them green rabbit with green elements already another colour. By 1858, a three-year-old boy died after eating fine flakes of wallpaper, pigments, and 1862, Dr Thomas Orton was called to a family’s house when everyone, including their pet parrot began to get sick after they hung new wallpaper with a really bright pigment to it and then one of the few American examples I found was 1861 and the Boston medical and surgical Journal right here in my hometown of a boy made sick from sucking on a green concert ticket while they are like even that little amount. It was, it was worse with children because adults can metabolise more arsenic safely and by obviously children can’t handle the same dosage. So the speak in an interesting way in terms of the whole green ball gown, which is still what you see in modern like depictions and museum exhibits, and things like that. And clothing actually wasn’t the worst offender because you really touching your body, especially if you’re a woman, are you have like five layers of underwear between your other dress and am your actual skin suit the most concern with clothing that you see is from things like gloves and stockings that are actually in contact with your body. There was one account of the poisonous socks was a time of the article in the Lancet 1968, where Mr Webber brought some harmful dyes to the attention of his local aldermen in our inner council meeting or something and it was a day at the Drury Ln, Theatre, who suffered a rash on 1 foot, which she was wearing a bright red stocking and the news from the stocking the other foot had a white stocking laundering the performance, so you get more issues where the clothing actually comes in contact again is only a rash you’re not really dying from wearing arsenic dye clothing a the when people are actually ingesting it for breathing it in your okay so I think that wallpaper is the like perfumes or the articles. Yeah, yeah, like flakes of paint that fall off the wall where there is some theory that it might have contributed to Napoleon Bonaparte’s death and his something about when the actual study was done and something that is tissues. They may be a test of some of his remains in the tissues contained really really unusually high levels of arsenic and so there was a theory that the wallpaper where he was in on the island outgassing. The day up and gave him slow arsenic poisoning casino there could be other nations. Arsenic was also used as a medicine. In some cases, interestingly, still using some medicines today in very, very small quantities so sort of interesting brush with fame there for the arsenic poisoning her so there was any effort like you know it, how they remove asbestos from houses today and is whole industries of like people who are trained in removing asbestos and I know that because I used to work and transcribing, and one of the things I trust I was a podcast about asbestos is interesting to ours, but very necessary. And so, yet I will. I wonder if there was one people in rented accommodation that might have had this and whether, and there was a push to remove it or not, I know for sure about that. I do know that after a certain point, manufacturers began advertising are wallpaper, in particular as arsenic free. You can find ads from mostly the 1870s into the 80s and beyond. Of am. It is beautiful wallpaper images and then in big letters along with like fibre colours and new design things like arsenic free, so I don’t know whether there was necessarily much of the removal push, but there was certainly a push among manufacturers to respond to consumer demand that their wallpaper not contain massive levels of lethal poison so plenty some new dies were found as well that had other ways of being colourfast without quite the same level of harmful chemicals and some people still use other forms of dye to. There is this misconception that if you look at any green Victorian item. In general, but again this usually gets applied to upper-class women stresses, which is a really interesting prejudice and that you can tell that it has arsenic dye because of the shade of green screen general and asked really really not true. Even less so if you know wallpaper so mad if you do live in rented accommodations and you might be wary of three more paper if you knew about it and, or, you know, you just find yourself coming down some symptoms are not really knowing why UK say it’s interesting that people would pick out this I mean, although it was actually right that it is extremely toxic. It interesting that there was this focus on this one, rather then you know. Also, I’m sure there were a lot of other devices that were quite toxic. I am in on Cilla nights I suppose I would have had nothing to do with the society lady vanity bank site interesting, especially because even at the time. Green seems to be latched onto and despite, as I said, like moles enjoyed a brief period when that was known in 19th-century popular press as the toxic diver, to watch out for greeting you latch onto and I have to wonder if it had to do with all the studies done into the silk flower workshops because the primary issue, there was the green. They use a lot of it because you’re replicating leaves and stems and things like that. And then there were some images and drawings. Colour drawings actually published with the 1859 French study arm that have these really are affecting visuals of like he ends with bleeding sores that are tinged green from the dying green under fingernails and things like that, you have to wonder if maybe the green just had better publicity and that it just became sort of the better-known colour even though other dies like the story with the denser her stockings red, not green and that’s still causing skin irritation self. Maybe it is good publicity would see red and purple dies arsenic-based as well because I was just wondering because there was definitely a period where arsenic was big in the public imagination because of all of the so the Penny dreadful’s and things are calling arsenic inheritance how they could use it to knock a few wealthy relatives yeah sing other dies. They contain arsenic, yet they didn’t arsenic in, or other equally harmful chemicals and so yet I suppose it’s just you notice a dumb luck that green was seized on by the guy I really am interested in that that green wallpaper case with them with a woman outside a woman who won poison her family and then blamed on the wallpaper to find that the nuts is really fascinating. Also do a link to the podcast episode please do yeah yeah I wonder that anything was inspired by all the press coverage in this. This is a good excuse I can use exactly. Yeah, that might definitely have been where you got the idea to turn to Bamber for failing blamed on the wallpaper and you Wanna touch again on the whole feminine then anything just because I found really interesting major urban legend that kind of plays into this hall, like poison down careless woman thing of any type of situation. First of all, it’s putting the focus on individual responsibility, as opposed to manufacturer and oversight, which this familiar to anyone you know, living in the time of climate change are where we are that before, but also there is a leader urban legend first recorded in the 1930s about a girl who goes to idiots in either a second down or a gown from Mike and Skiddaw’s department store and then dies of formaldehyde poisoning from swelling in the dress because it actually came off a dead person arm and some of these have a ghost element. The earliest recorded versions were also racist because they pointed out that the original owner was black specifically and so there’s an element of racism well you know someone getting above her station, so to speak, and then dying or being eventual spirit and but that really reminded me of the idea was to review the arsenic ban in the 1860s, spreading the poison around her and is hurting others, although now it’s been shifted so that the punishment of the vanities on other people on the woman herself. That’s quite interesting actually because the poison dress thing is actually quite old, and device and there is. I mean it goes back to something like some of the Icelandic sagas of the Vikings have think there’s one I can’t remember of that of my head. The name of it because it is not, but there’s a story about a woman who wants her son to inherit her husband’s lands and not her stepson, and so she makes a shirt for the stepson and weaves into a all these kind of evil curses and then of course her own son accidentally goes on dies is also things like jet in a jealous, jilted lovers and making a gifting address to the husband’s new wife are poisoning the address so that when she puts it on. She graphically dye the wedding so the right thing yet yeah kind of poison clothing. Poison dress is quite evocative image really is really as there was an exhibit at the Ambala shoe museums in Canada some years back where it was all about arsenic. Green dye clothing are well okay, it was about am so fed up owning a harmful clothing and included a bunch of arsenic died things from the collection and they actually did the only way to tell if something is contaminated with arsenic so they went to their collection and am chemically tested pretty much everything green because green was the best known, but they did omit the other colours to arm and there. The opening room of the display had a skeleton wearing an arsenic dye ballgown in the display case and it harking back to an image in punch when it was that first scandal over the. The dye workers are the outlook for our workers and where they actually had a comic, the arsenic waltz, which showed a female skeleton female skeleton” and in a ballgown and then a male skeleton in the suits of bowing and offering his hand to her, so it is very evocative image. I guess that poison green thing as well. Cream is associated with that green with envy or classic bottle of poison is always good green liquid always have green donating evil magic is green is interesting because so much of the silk flower thing was designed to create that feeling of like nature and pastoral and goodness and let that wound up being one of the primary avenues for the toxic die – yeah, yeah, I guess there’s always that unite selling something on the basis of nature looks natural law is supposed to be natural in its not necessarily. I mean in terms of dies and I am about natural dyes, you know, being and more sustainable like better than none and synthetic dyes which are not an expert on this, they may well be certain in some respects capably up and but then they know they won’t necessarily perfectly good on the environment and in certain in the quantities that they were being produced and it sometimes in history and it could cause environment damage and there are chemicals used with so I guess the one I wanted Alan and Mantz, but I don’t know whether or not that’s harmful, but they did use chemicals to bind these things they learned that sometimes a green dye apparently still Be recycled or composted. Even now there are not likely to give you a rasher kill you and your painter wallpaper, but apparently it stood a difficult colour to create in a way that completely safe in all respects. So that was interesting. Well, about the dye and affecting the combustibility of the life of an item that much, I suppose, because there’s just such a variety available to us today and we we do something about it. Yeah, that’s not something often considered, I did also want to mention that and I have touched many green Victorian things of my bare hands and you saw Trinity Doll dealer in your city. And I have not yet experienced, rashes and skin irritation. There was one doll dress I encountered once were that had green spots that we are kind of, you know, speculated, and I felt like my he hands it over the laughter attached, but that also could have been psychosomatic because there wasn’t any redness rasher anything just goes to show that it might be less common than people think, but it’s definitely not the situation you separately any green Victorian dresses lethal and it’s going to kill you and give you arsenic poisoning is not really the situation and how long it can, whether or not it has like an expiry date is the wood with these things still be as potent as they were the people handling them today. Very interesting question, and I know the chemical studies about it as far as I know, kind of tapered off and popularly answer those first few studies in the mid 19th century, the lady said her association actually sent us a silk to add to be studied when they were doing the whole inquest into the am the silk flower workshops and there was another study done in the 1890s, but it was using then contemporary fabric and there was certainly still enough to be detected by researchers like those the Bata Shoe Museum or in the hidden killers show with a did the out the wallpaper sable book test on know you would have to deal would have to have taken like test results from a textile originally and then have the same textile and tested. Now here I guess you could do you good. Dye something with arsenic dye for scientific purposes grandchildren come back and tested a hundred years later, yeah, yeah, they said about the other top the current toxicity of addresses at the Bata Shoe Museum curator said, quote we’ve been advised not to make it unquote so. Amazing covers a lot of things. I also find it interesting that would be the silk flower workshop thing which I didn’t know before, but that you know that sparked off all this interest in in the working conditions like people like people were just kind of having these these lovely silk flowers on the clothing and rethinking about a man. All this came out to people collectively like oh oh working conditions yeah, it’s the kind of thing that perhaps they were aware of obliquely before, but in writing about and then someone had to bring it to their attention. I find it really interesting that France and Germany responded by being like how well we can have this and burning the dies I am not sure it was actually ever banned in the UK distills an agreement not to I I can find any dates of burning in the UK or here in America, so it’s entirely possible that it was never the end of those places that I could be wrong. I could be missing something and it could have been banned, but it might have just in the inner consumer pressure on technology improvements and saw a phased out. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with studs. There was fascinating. He really think slightly creepy journey into the text of past really interesting research about I had done some looking into it before, but never in the kind of depth I would actually like record names and dates of my sources and things like that. So thank you for having me that you are giving me the opportunity to look into it more.
Hello, I’m at paper from probably bad RPG ideas. We have a podcast if you like to hear RPG advice on how to use assorted incredibly bad ideas as actual ideas and actual day, then this is a pulley back pocket available on pretty much every pod capture from a bad day.
So are we going to look louder and this episode was actually requested by one of our patrons and so if if you want to request an episode email bread email@example.com and our patreon is just bread and thread we have exclusive recipes in a discord server, and now that I have plugged that… Would you like to know about fish and chips
very much so
fish and chips is known as its one of the quintessential British foods. Yeah, no that is British, honestly, that doesn’t surprise me at this point of no so we think that the battered fish itself and probably comes from is a Dutch or Iberian and Jewish communities sign interesting that it’s one of those to consider really touch me, although there is. There was a lot of conflict between Spain and the Netherlands at various points, so maybe that’s got something to do with the confusion of mostly battering and frying fish on the Friday evening so that you can eat it during the Sabbath without having to cook and then that gets combined with the idea of chips is really useful, so it made its way to Britain somewhere in currently the 1860s. Other fried fish itself and chips themselves are mentioned separately in various Charles Dickens books, including all the twist which is 1830s, but there is strong debate about whether the first chippy, there is a place selling fish and chips specifically was in London or Mossley, which is now part of greater Manchester. I imagine there will continue to be strong debate about that for you. Sure, you got them versus London, but it basically became this stock working class meal and during that in that industry. Because there was suddenly industrial fishing, so fish is. This becomes accessible to working-class people is basically the first takeaway meal as opposed to the force of street food snacks at the system where you can going and you get get a big lump of tasty stodge to get you through a terrible life for another day like one of the only things where you can get like proper value for money like good amount of chips ideal, and this is sort of like authentic British pub food here in the states rehab like a pub that has like union flag, garlands, and they probably some model of the target somewhere.just like every absolutely authentic British pub clearly see a lot of chippies now are actually combination fish and chips and Chinese food to sign interesting clues you got this sort of Chinese immigrants in relatively poor areas basically combining and their cuisines with what is already established working-class British cuisines in one shot, yet I think actually you get at least check from much every takeaway I think there’s a lot of love Telco replaces ingot health and how are you the right to pass a forfeiture interesting, so a couple of fish and chips facts. There is exactly one chip shop on Gibraltar and I looked at its Facebook page and it has a lot of reviews that are basically, this is the best chippy in Gibraltar with a lousy guest by default wrong. It’s called rose fish and chips and ages. The honeymoon there is excellent. I love chocolate names like some of them are like like the one in where levies could the Swan are many get some are just like Roy’s chips injury, the ones with names, so there’s one does a train station in my parents house that has a chip shop in it’s called the plaice station like PlayStation both tolerable number of horrible perfect. It was one of the few foods not subject to rationing. As Churchill saw it would basically keep the working class going and it is also mentioned in the Road to Wigan Pier as a panacea to the working classes being angry with everything en route to Wigan Pier, the wrong that is very important question. The UK is in the places near you. Do fish and chips can you get scraps never tried are that the stratified banner rate. Yeah ISI, I have been informed by medicines and I never tried am. I don’t know that anyone would try here. I think most Americans are kind of foreign to the idea. So if you suggested at the car we say so you go round the back of the restaurant was the places that you adhere art like counter service to like sitdown restaurant diners see have to go round the back and be like Hayek and I have your your bits of fried batter your New England weather so much like cultural overlap, I feel like you were just get looked at funny and totally want, like American people listening, let me know if you’ve ever done this comment on the Twitter if you’ve ever done this and am, I will be thoroughly corrected by the culture here. Just when I was a kid living near Newcastle, he should be able to get them for free. I don’t know if it’s time or geography now places charge you for the 50-50 hall English p a bag about scraps. It’s a scandal no. I honestly like I think it might be more.
Another thing, perhaps because I know this is admitting something I had never heard of scraps until, like maybe last year, like, even when you lived in York he didn’t come across certain and I guess branch out enough in my fish and chip culinary journey
bullying you into trying chips and gravy
yeah allows those like yeah like is not on the menus are anything down here, but maybe if you asked, they would give it to you but is not like a thing is not that I know of.
Okay so I have one more bit of trivia about fish and chips, so Hazel will be well aware that there is a lot of debate about what, if any wet substances you have with efficient service. You can have gravy mushy peas just vinegar as you go to a Chinese GP can get Chinese curry on your fish and chips is also Welsh, then curry sauce. I don’t know if it’s a waltz thing, or if it’s just a thing that you can get in Wales, so this is a lot of the combination Chinese GP places over some beta just just chippies do have like a single curry sauce in the back. If you really want to do half and it gets refreshed and apparently around Edinburgh. There’s a substance called chippy sauce is a combination of brown sauce and vinegar which they try again because the consistency I think it depends on. I cannot find what the consistency is what I found was mostly just the bits of those two things and pictures of chips with a brown substance on. I know how I feel about that seer that is a brief guide to fish and chips
and I want fish and chips. I actually got way to get fish and chips. How far like to sit down restaurant are why get right now because restaurant arose because it would have to be to a sitdown restaurant that does fish and chips and chip shops actually thing here so to make your own. I will I will have to learn
did make my own to try to do that once when I was living in Vietnam, I tried to make it a birthday from my friends and the kitchen floor was covered in grease for the next week if you’re an amateur fish and chip maker. It’s quite tricky to manage.
So said, we have an email, and the patron and were also on Twitter at Reading thread if you Wanna just keep up with what we doing and see the hints that I keep insisting on posting about what the next episode is going to be on the fun. But thank you for listening and we will be back soon.