Mad Hatter

  • Season 3
  • Aired 01/04/2011
  • 8,387 Views

Hat maker in the 19th Century goes mad, then dies from mercury - the origin for the term "Mad (as a) Hatter."

OKAY, 1,000 WAYS FANS,LET'S PLAY A GAME.

WE'LL PRETEND FOR A MOMENT

THAT YOU'VE ACTUALLY SPENTSOME TIME READING BOOKS.

SOONER OR LATER,YOU WOULD HAVE COME ACROSS

THE PHRASE,"MAD AS A HATTER,"

AND YOU WOULD HAVESAID TO YOURSELF,

"SELF, I WONDER WHERETHAT PHRASE CAME FROM?"

HERE TO ANSWER THAT QUESTIONIS BARNABY,

A CONNECTICUT HAT MAKERIN THE LATE 1800s.

- EXCUSE ME, SIR. I NEED TOHAVE MY HAT REFITTED.

DO YOU DO THAT?

- AAH!

announcer: BARNABY WAS,TO PUT IT BLUNTLY,

OUT OF HIS FREAKIN' MIND.

- [laughs]

announcer: THIS WAS A TIMEWHEN EVERYONE WORE HATS

AND HAT MAKERSWERE IN BIG DEMAND.

[tapping on counter]

BUT, LIKE BARNABY HERE,MANY OF THEM WENT MAD.

IT WAS A MEDICAL MYSTERYTHAT WASN'T SOLVED

UNTIL DECADES LATER.

- [laughs]

SWINE!

OUT! OUT!

- THERE'S A TERM CALLED"DANBURY SHAKES,"

WHICH REFERS TODANBURY, CONNECTICUT,

WHICH WASTHE MEGA-CENTER OF HAT MAKING

IN THE UNITED STATESAND THE WORLD.

IT WAS A DISEASETHAT HATTERS WOULD GET

BECAUSE OF THEIR EXPOSURETO THE MERCURY

THAT WAS USEDIN FELTING THE HATS,

AND THEY WOULDINHALE THE VAPORS

AND IT WOULD CAUSEMERCURY POISONING,

AND THIS WAS APPLIEDTO THE ANIMAL PELTS.

announcer: IN BARNABY'S CASE,HIS YEARS OF EXPOSURE

TO THE TOXIC MERCURY FUMESCOMPROMISED HIS NERVOUS SYSTEM,

CAUSING BRAIN DAMAGE,ERRATIC BEHAVIOR,

AND HALLUCINATIONS.

FINALLY,WITH HIS BRAIN FRIED,

HIS IMMUNE SYSTEMSHUTTING DOWN,

AND HIS MAJOR ORGANSDAMAGED BEYOND REPAIR,

THE MAD HATTER WHO ONCE WASBARNABY CLOSED SHOP FOREVER.

- [screams]

- WHEN SOMEONE IS EXPOSEDTO MERCURY VAPORS

OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME,

YOU WILL SEEA PROGRESSION OF EFFECTS

ON THECENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM

TO THOSE THAT CAN BEQUITE SIGNIFICANT,

INCLUDING FULL BODY SPASMS.

COMBINED WITH THIS,YOU WOULD SEE KIDNEY CHANGES,

AND THIS WOULD ULTIMATELYRESULT IN DEATH.

announcer: FOR BARNABY,MAKING HATS WAS A LIVING,

BUT THE MAKING MADE HIM MAD.

- [laughs]

announcer:HE LOST HIS MIND...

- SWINE!

announcer: HIS CUSTOMERS,AND HIS HEALTH.

- [laughs]

- AAH!

announcer: AND THENIT MADE HIM DEAD.

Loading...