Need to eliminate a rat – or a husband? The Victorian housewife turned to arsenic. With no taste or smell, it was virtually undetectable when mixed with food or drink. Plus, at just a penny for half an ounce, it was cheap. But if the frugal housewife had been patient, her husband probably would have died anyway. A by-product of mining copper, gold and zinc, arsenic became more readily available during the Industrial Revolution. Vibrant green dyes were derived from arsenic-tinted candles, candies, playing cards, gloves, crayons, toys, curtains, wallpaper, and even fake flowers. It was used in cosmetics to give women that fashionable (death-like) pallor. A mixture of arsenic and black pepper was used as anti-venom among British forces in India. Dr. Livingstone claimed arsenic countered the bite of the tsetse fly while Charles Darwin took arsenic for his eczema. Tobacco mixed with arsenic relieved asthma. Arsenic permeated most goods. Join us for a poison-filled jaunt through Victorian life. Tea optional.