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Hidden Killers of the Post-War Home
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Dr Suzannah Lipscomb wafts around a retro chic home (featuring an anachronistic Philippe Starck lemon squeezer, design nerds), trying to look fearful of the dangers lurking at every turn. Unlike her previous docs on the perils of the Edwardian, Victorian and Tudor homes, this feels more like a nostalgia-fest. Probably because many of us can remember open-bar fires, thrillingly explosive kids’ chemistry sets and dodgy DIY projects.
The real value is in the nuggets of social history scattered throughout, such as how chicken went from accounting for only one per cent of Britain’s meat consumption in 1950 to 75 million birds being farmed for the table in 1959.
Dr Suzannah Lipscomb reveals some of the unexpected dangers lurking in the ever-changing homes of Britain in the 1950s. For the first time, moulded plywood furniture, fibreglass, plastics and polyester were becoming fixtures of domestic life, having all been developed and created during the Second World War. However, even as this bright new era of social change progressed, bringing higher living standards and improved technologies, new, unprecedented hazards were finding their way into everyday life.
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