Suzannah Lipscomb explores the hidden killers of the Edwardian home. Queen Victoria died and it was the dawn of a new century. The modern age was ushered during this time. New ideas started to flourish during this period.
Suzannah looks at the first hidden killer: Electricity. It was a new invention and at the time was not regulated like it is now. In Victorian times, gas light was used but it was dirty. Electricity was cleaner. Gas and electric companies were in competition with each other. Electricity was expensive and marketed to those who could afford it. If you had the money and you wanted to be seen as sophisticated you needed to have electricity. However, the wires were just bare and one touch you could get electrocuted. The first wires were insulated with paper or lead which caught fire. Despite this, there were many electric appliances invented. There was an electric exhibition that showed off many electric items: lamps, hair brush, curling tongs, iron, and table clothes.
The next hidden killer in the Edwardian home was Asbestos. It was strong, cheap, and was versatile. The Edwardian's used it everywhere. They used it in pipes and water tanks. Floor tiles, ceiling tiles, toilet seats were also made from Asbestos. However, it was a health hazard. It was dusty and caused cancer. It caused scaring in the lungs as well as difficulty breathing. It was the most hidden of hidden killers and it took a long time to act. The women were the most affected by Asbestos.
The next hidden killer in the Edwardian home was found in the kitchen. It was the refrigerator. However, the early fridges were all experimental and the chemicals they used in the refrigerator were unregulated and the inventors used guess work to figure out how to make things colder. They used dangerous chemicals in the early fridges which could kill people if they leaked or were a fire hazard. The Edwardian rich used refrigerators. They were expensive.
The final hidden killer in the Edwardian home was found in the bedroom. Actresses inspired the trend since it was now becoming a respectable occupation for women. They advertised make up, soaps, and other beauty treatments. Edwardian women had to have pure, white skin in order to separate the women who worked outdoors. Many of these treatments contained arsenic which would eventually kill them. To continue to learn more about the hidden killers continue to watch the documentary.
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 Edwardian Home Questions:
1. Who was the king that came after Queen Victoria?
2. How many British patents were issued?
3. What was a new exciting Edwardian product?
4. Which two men invented the light bulb?
5. Who had electricity in their home?
6. What was heated on the stove before electricity?
7. What type of fires rivaled coal?
8. What provided clean energy?
9. Who were the most affected by asbestos?
10. What killed people more than car crashes?
Hidden Killers of the Edwardian Home Answers:
1. Who was the king that came after Queen Victoria? - Edward VII
2. How many British patents were issued? - 140,000
3. What was a new exciting Edwardian product? - Electricity
4. Which two men invented the light bulb? - Joseph Swan and Thomas Edison
5. Who had electricity in their home? - Lord and Lady Churchill
6. What was heated on the stove before electricity? - Iron
7. What type of fires rivaled coal? - Gas and Electric
8. What provided clean energy? - Asbestos
9. Who were the most affected by asbestos? - Women
10. What killed people more than car crashes? - Asbestos
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