Monday, August 10, 2009

Currently, I'm painting a beautifully carved wooden chair (to put in a baby's room for story time) and I decided to make it a Mad Hatter chair in order to continue my Alice in Wonderland theme.
As I was researching about Mad Hatters I stumbled upon some pretty cool trivia. Check this out:

Did you know that the fictional character; The Mad Hatter encountered in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland is based on a real person... or, more specifically, real people?

Hatters (people who made hats) in the 1800's often used mercury to cure felt. They would breathe these fumes (unintentionally) and, over time, the mercury would build up in their system. This, in turn, caused neurological damage and muscular tremors. Eventually they would develop confused speech and even hallucinations and psychotic symptoms. No one really knew mercury was toxic at these times so people just saw this odd trend of hat makers going ins

The expression "Mad as a Hatter" was a term in use 30 years before Carroll wrote Alice in Wonderland.

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