“Mad As A Hatter”
Tony Wootton and Gwen Zanzoterra tell us that this phrase does not come from the book ‘Alice in Wonderland’, that it actually dates back before that period when many people wore top hats. The hatter or hat maker had to work very close to the hat while he was making it and brushing it smooth. And while doing so he had to use one chemical in the hat making. Breathing in the chemical over a long period of time it was believed it gradually sent the hatter insane.
This was how the phrase came into being.
This must be one of the earliest cases of work-related diseases. Back then, there was no protection for those victims and they had no recourse for any compensation. It is different now, victims who suffered from cancer brought on by asbestos-related jobs have claimed huge compensations from their employers.
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