Tuesday, February 27, 2024

The Dutch Boy's Lead Party"


This promotional booklet copyright 1923 is interesting, but not for the reason most people think.

There's a tendency to look back at these old advertisements for products like tobacco and to conclude that people had no idea these products were dangerous, but if you go back and look through what people were actually sang at the time, you generally find that the advertising was actually a response to growing public concern over products like lead paint.

 In 1786, Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter warning a friend about the hazards of lead and lead paint, which he considered well-established.[5] Despite the risks, the pigment was very popular with artists because of its density and opacity; a small amount could cover a large surface. It was widely used by artists until the 19th century, when it was replaced by zinc white and titanium white.[6]

The dangers of lead paint were considered well-established by the beginning of the 20th century. In the July 1904 edition of its monthly publication, Sherwin-Williams reported the dangers of paint containing lead, noting that a French expert had deemed lead paint "poisonous in a large degree, both for the workmen and for the inhabitants of a house painted with lead colors".[7] As early as 1886, German health laws prohibited women and children from working in factories processing lead paint and lead sugar.[8]

The League of Nations began efforts to ban lead paint in 1921.[9][10]

 Or over lead in general.

With the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, lead poisoning became common in the work setting.[122] The introduction of lead paint for residential use in the 19th century increased childhood exposure to lead; for millennia before this, most lead exposure had been occupational.[36] The first legislation in the UK to limit pottery workers' exposure to lead was included in the Factories Act Extension Act in 1864, with further introduced in 1899.[283][284] William James Furnival (1853–1928), research ceramist of City & Guilds London Institute, appeared before Parliament in 1901 and presented a decade's evidence to convince the nation's leaders to remove lead completely from the British ceramic industry. His 852-page treatise, Leadless Decorative Tiles, Faience, and Mosaic of 1904 published that campaign and provided recipes to promote lead-free ceramics.[285] At the request of the Illinois state government in the US, Alice Hamilton (1869–1970) documented lead toxicity in Illinois industry and in 1911 presented results to the 23rd Annual Meeting of the American Economic Association.[286] Hamilton was a founder of the field of occupational safety and health and published the first edition of her manual, Industrial Toxicology, in 1934, yet in print in revised forms.[287] An important step in the understanding of childhood lead poisoning occurred when toxicity in children from lead paint was recognized in Australia in 1897.[122] France, Belgium, and Austria banned white lead interior paints in 1909; the League of Nations followed suit in 1922.[124] However, in the United States, laws banning lead house paint were not passed until 1971, and it was phased out and not fully banned until 1978.[124]

 Though owned by Sherwin Williams since 1980, the Dutch Boy was originally a mascot for the National Lead Company.

From the Hagley Museum and Library:

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