Suzannah Lipscomb explores the hidden killers of the Victorian Home. The home was a domestic haven during this period.
The Middle class was bombing and they were creating homes that were cozy safe havens. Gadgets started to become more available. Consumerism started to boom and it was the first time that "standard of living" started to appear. You measured how good your life was based on how many objects you possessed. Good taste was a moral quality. However what they welcomed into their homes was potentially deadly.
The first killer of the Victorian home was found in the drawing room. This killer was found on the walls of the house. Green was a popular color. It was found in wallpaper, toys, and carpets. However, reports of deaths and illnesses rose. The ingredient in wallpaper that caused the illnesses or death was arsenic. The Victorians were unaware of what was poisoning them and would have thought that there was a cholera outbreak. The affects of arsenic poisoning were similar to cholera. Newspapers slowly started to report the link between the wall paper and the mysterious illnesses that plagued the Victorians. Germany eventually banned the sale of arsenic wallpapers. Queen Victoria eventually banned Green wallpaper from her palaces and then the English government finally stood up and paid attention.
The next hidden killer in the Victorian home: the bedroom. The Victorian woman needed to look just right. Lipscomb looks to the corset as the next hidden killer of the Victorian home. A small amount of Victorian Women tight laced their corsets and it shifted their internal organs and caused pneumonia. Suzannah participates in an experiment with tight lacing. She takes the stairs and walks on a treadmill and feels lightheaded after the experiment. The sports medicine doctor finds that her breathing was changed. To see an alternate opinion on corsets check out this video.
The next hidden killer was found in the kitchen. New gadgets were created in order to help out with keeping the home. Gas was brought into the home to help with light and heat. People dying from gas were widespread. It was colorless and odorless. Gas companies sabotaged each other at the expense of the people. It was all experimental when gas was incorporated into the home to tragic consequences.
To find out about more killers continue to watch the documentary. You also may want to use this series in a science class as well and ask the students how Suzannah applied the scientific method to the hidden killers of the home.
For use in the classroom: just highlight, copy and paste into a word document or a google document for use in the classroom. You can easily format these questions to your specifications. All questions should fit onto one page after formatting.
You can find the link for the YouTube video here.
Hidden Killers of the Victorian Home – Questions
Hidden Killers of the Victorian Home – Answers
These ladies make a good point about being able to do the research yourself and cite the sources for your research. For both a history and science classroom it is important to be able to write out your citations when you do a research paper or experiment that way you can look back and demonstrate that you did not make anything up. You are also able to give credit to the original researchers. By citing your sources you are also demonstrating to your teacher that you are learning critical thinking skills.
Check out the video, you will not regret it!
Today, we're going to do something a little different. I'm going to introduce my readers to historical sewing. Sewing is a lost skill among the current generation. Schools have been discouraging consumer science classes in various localities. However, some schools have a "seniors only" or "Adulting 101" as part of their curriculum to teach sewing skills. These classes teach students how to pay bills, open a bank account, do simple repairs, how to sew and how to cook.
Since I love history and historic costumes and fashions, I thought I would share some historic costumers that share their craft on YouTube. I would have no problem sharing these creators in a history or consumer education classroom. These creators show off how to sew, layout a pattern, how to modify a pattern, and how to do mock-ups. Other skills include how to drape cloth on a mannequin or a beauty routine of the time period.
These links are current as of 3/14/2021, these videos may be deleted in the future.
Bernadette Banner: She worked in Broadway making costumes and is a historic costumer. She is very eloquent and enthusiastic about her work. On top of that, she is very well researched and thoughtful in her presentations. I will admit, that I have no self-control and have mentioned her frequently on my class message boards.
1) Buying a Knock Off of my Dress: This does not teach sewing, but it is a fun video where she roasts a company that knocked off a dress that she had designed and sewed on her own.
2) Busting Corset Myths: Bernadette busts the myths that have circulated about wearing corsets and she brings proof that corset wearing wasn't the death trap it was made out to be. She spent years in a medical corset to correct her scoliosis.
3) Adding Pockets to a Dress: How to guide on how to add pockets to skirts and dresses that don't have pockets.
4) Making a Modern Edwardian Walking Skirt: A very good video on how to make a skirt, layout a pattern, modify a pattern and sew a skirt.
5) 500 Years of Correcting "Historical" Halloween Costumes: Bernadette corrects Halloween costumes, incorporating more historical accuracy in her sketches.
Morgan Donner: She works in the Medieval period. However, from time to time she posts on other time eras.
1) Covering a Plunging Neckline: This is a quick tutorial on how to fix a plunging neckline on a dress.
2) Holiday Dress Out of an Amazon Bag: Morgan makes a dress out of an Amazon gift bag. During the Depression, flour companies used to make patterned flour bags and people would make dresses out of them.
3) Adding Pockets to Dresses: This is another tutorial on how to add pockets to dresses.
4) Sewing a Gusset - This is a video on how to sew a square gusset on a sewing machine.
5) How to Drape a Medieval Dress - This is a tutorial on how to make a fitted medieval dress without using math or geometry.
Cathy Hay - She is an English historic costumer. She works with the Victorian and Edwardian Periods. She is planning on recreating the Peacock Dress. She also hosts pep talks for people who need it.
Karolina Żebrowska - She is a Polish costumer and works a variety of time periods. She also reviews historic movies for their costumes' accuracy.
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