Punch,  41 (1861), 141.

Green Go the Lasses, O!



News-Commentary, Drollery


Chemistry, Light, Disease, Adulteration, Analytical Chemistry, Gender

    Discusses a letter to a contemporary periodical, written by an 'M.D.', explaining how the fashionable mauve used in colouring crinoline dresses fades in artificial light. The letter also warns of the dangers of the cloth 'tarlatane', much used in women's dresses, which is dyed with 'Scheele's Green' and contains large quantities of arsenic. The arsenic is 'given off in poisonous dust' when dresses made from the material are folded, and leads to severe medical conditions. Urges that such garments should be labelled to indicate their poisonous nature. Goes on to note the warnings of M.D. about women's headdresses that also contain large quantities of arsenic. Lamenting the difficulty of preaching against fashions, urges the 'male sex' to keep away from girls wearing a 'verdant dress or wreath', a strategy it is hoped will force women to change their fashion.

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