Madame Tussaud Used Beheaded Politicians to Create Her Original Waxworks

Madame Tussauds staff work in the wax studio on Marylebone Road, London, in 1939. PHOTOGRAPH BY DAVID SAVILL, TOPICAL PRESS AGENCY/GETTY IMAGES

In the late 18th century, wax artist Marie Tussaud launched a somewhat unusual career in Paris. As a forced show of her loyalty to the French Revolution, she was ordered to create death masks of the guillotined aristocrats of the former monarchy, including…

Source: Madame Tussaud Used Beheaded Politicians to Create Her Original Waxworks

The Origins of Hussar Cavalry – W.U Hstry

Earliest known representation of a hussar engraved on a sabre scabbard chape from 1500.

The term Hussar is most commonly known as the name of a certain type of light cavalry used primarily in the 18th and 19th centuries. But it is also used for a few quite different forms of cavalry i…

Source: The Origins of Hussar Cavalry – W.U Hstry

Mad as a Hatter, An Adder, or An Oyster

The mercury-based compounds used in 19th century hat making had unfortunate side effects for those engaged in the trade. Many today believe that these side effects – including slurred speech, unsteadiness, and paranoia – led to the popular phrase “as mad as a hatter.” It certainly makes sense. However, in actuality, the connection between such symptoms and exposure to mercury was not recognized until the 20th century. Where then did the phrase “as mad as a hatter” originate? As late as the 1890s, Victorian scholars were still attempting to puzzle this out. There were many theories and, surprisingly, few of them had anything to do with hats.

The 1889 edition of Beckwith’s Almanac traces the phrase back to the Anglo-Saxon word…

Source: Mad as a Hatter, An Adder, or An Oyster

Good Health (Phrase Origins)