The “child killers”The Victorian Era.

A Victorian Trade Card, ca. 1881 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

TToday, England’sThe infant mortality rate is 3.422 deaths for every 1000 live births. However, the statistics are much more recent than they were two centuries ago. In 1850, there were 3.422 deaths per 1000 live births. Victorian EnglandThe infant mortality rate was approximately 150 deaths per 1000 live births. These high numbers can be attributed to Victorian sanitary conditions. But this is not the end of danger for children.

This is how everyday objects like milk, bottles and toys killed thousands upon thousands of children during Victorian Era.

A Victorian Trade Card, ca. 1892 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Even though the toxic effects of lead were not known, documented as early as 2000 BC, the Victorians still used it to paint children’s toys.

The problem was the Victorians didn’t realize how dangerous lead could be and that even a small amount could prove fatal. Professor Andy Meharg saidHere are some more details:

“Anything that was coloured or pigmented would have had high levels of a toxic metal in it. Even if it was white it wasn’t safe, there were large levels of lead even in white painted toys.”

What helped lead-painted toys appear harmless was that, contrary to other toxic substances, lead paint isn’t bitter, metallic-tasting, or foul — it is sweet. So, when children placed the toys in their mouths, they weren’t repelled by the taste or discouraged to repeat the act.

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A Victorian advertisement featuring Dutch Boy white lead paint. Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Children also swallowed the lead paint particles as they wore off. All of this led to lead poisoning, which many children suffered from in three stages. It was discovered that Charlotte Rafferty, a very young girl, started to experience symptoms. “convulsions”After some time, it will become apparent. “lines along her gums” appeared. The third stage was death.

The blue-purplish lines on the gums that result from lead poisoning are called Burton’s lines.Anemia and kidney disease are also indicators of lead poisoning. Lead attacks the nervous system and can also cause brain damage.

Additionally, lead can enter the placenta barrier and cause serious harm to unborn babies. Although lead had many harmful characteristics, it was not widely used in Victorian England. However, Dr. Suzanna found that the British used it more frequently in coloring than the rest Europe. remarked:

“In the 1920s, white lead was banned in indoor paint products in Sweden, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Poland, Spain, Finland and Norway, but not Britain. Amazingly, it wasn’t until the 1970s, more than 100 years after the problem had been identified, that the British government controlled the lead content of household paint.”

Advertisement for the Victorian “Murder Bottle,” 1868 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

To make mother’s lives easier, the “banjo-shaped bottle” The Victorian market was first to receive it. Many loved the fact that a child could use it on their own. But Mrs. Beeton made it truly popular.

In today’s terms Mrs. Beeton would have her catheterized as a “lifestyle guru.”She advocated breastfeeding over bottle feeding, and in 1861 Mrs. Beeton wrote this about the innovative bottle.

“The nipple need never be removed till replaced by a new one, which will hardly be necessary oftener than once a fortnight.”

A fortnight is a period of two weeks, and the lifestyle guru’s advice proved to be fatal.

Advertisement for the Victorian “Murder Bottle,” 1868 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The bottle with the banjo shape was made of earthenware, glass and earthenware. A long rubber tube was attached to the neck of the bottle.

The bottle’s unusual shape, along with the rubber tube, made it difficult for cleaning. However, Mrs. Beeton recommended cleaning it twice a week to prevent bacteria from growing in the bottle.

Over time, a dangerous amount of microorganisms developed on the bottle. Combining this with the sensitive and youthful nature of children proved fatal. It was eventually renamed after it was found that the bottle was responsible to the deaths of many thousands of children. “murder bottle”And withdrawn from the marketplace.

Victorian infant mortality was reduced by the use of murder bottles. Only two out of ten children survived to the age two mark.

Victorian advertisement for condensed dairy with boracic acid. 1889 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The Victorian Era was without fridges so milk was a delicate item. They instead used ice containers.

An ice box was a wooden cupboard with tin or zirconia inside lining. A compartment was made in the cabinet for an ice block. As you might expect, an iceblock was not as efficient as modern refrigerators in keeping fresh dairy and meat products. It would also melt throughout each day.

The Victorians had other ideas.

Different versions of iceboxes (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Boracic acid, which is still used in insecticides, was added to the milk. It was used to mask the bad taste and unpleasant smell of spoiled milk. You had now been off milk and boracic, which caused stomachache, sickness, and diarrhea. But that’s not the end of milk.

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Pasteurization was not properly done or regulated during the Victorian Era. Bovine Tuberculosis, also known by Bovine TB, was discovered in milk. Bovine Tuberculosis, once infective, can cause severe injury to the spine and internal organs.

Drinking milk alone caused many to develop deformities, but children were the most affected. During the Victorian Era, milk alone was responsible for approximately 500,000 deaths in children.

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