Some Dangerous Items of Your Ancestors

With many health and safety standards in place today in the 21st century, it is only due to the struggles and dangers our ancestors suffered with new manufacturing, technology and chemistry decades ago.

Our ancestors were offered new consumer products with little or no testing of their safety on humans. They instead had to learn firsthand if something was dangerous.

For example, having indoor bathrooms were great but water temperatures could not be controlled very well. With no hot water controls, a person could easily be scalded by too hot water. Even the sewage pipes were not safely placed. They could have build-ups of methane gas reach inside a home, which might cause an explosion.

Another item was the use of arsenic. This was especially used in creating a variety of clothing dyes, including brown and red and especially green dye. So fabric used to make a green dress would be high in arsenic level, a very toxic item to humans. Dresses of green dyed fabric still around from the 1850s and 1860s can still test positive for arsenic decades later. Not just clothing but arsenic and another chemical, aniline dyes were used for book covers, decorative fabrics and wallpaper.

The traditional family dinner dishes had the lead in them. It gave a sheen on ceramics and was very popular. So don’t eat today on any antique dishes or use ceramic washbowls, sugar bowls, or creamers.

In the late 1890s and into the early 1900s, asbestos was considered a wonder material. It was used in many household objects, as insulation. Such items as toasters and hairdryers. Asbestos was used in children’s toys and mixed with plaster and applied to walls. Long-time exposure to asbestos in a home or office proven to be fatal.

Before the pasteurization of milk was a common practice in the mid-20th century, humans could get sick drinking cow’s milk where the cows had consumed certain plants which then contaminated the milk produced.

Some interesting damaging items to know that our ancestors had to deal with to eventually make you safe.

Photo: Hot water for the tub in 1900.

Related Blogs:

Early Inventions Still Used Today

Female Inventors in the 1800s

German Inventions

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