New Hidden Killers: The Edwardian Home

Confirmed for BBC Four on 17 December at 9.00pm to 10.00pm

Ep 2/2

Tuesday 17 December



Dr Suzannah Lipscomb is back with the second documentary in the Hidden Killers series which, with the help of experts in history and science, explores the deadly must-have items of the Edwardian era in Britain.

A new era and a new king saw no let-up in the desire for the latest gadgets and products. In the first five years of King Edward’s reign there were 140,000 British patents issued. Wonderful new products and inventions hit the market such as electricity - over 600 companies supplied this new wonder product.

The Edwardians were very creative about what they did with it too: an electric tablecloth was a typical ‘must have’ item of the day. But there was no regulation of electricity, and cables were not insulated or appliances ‘earthed’ to the standards required today. Soon electrocutions and fires started to hit the headlines. The Edwardians did come up with one product though that was totally fire-proof – unfortunately its name was asbestos. For good measure, if you managed to negotiate the death traps of electricity and asbestos, you could always buy yourself a nice radioactive clock or wash your face in arsenic soap.

Suzannah and the experts bring these and other fatal products and death traps frighteningly to life.

New Hidden Killers: The Edwardian Home is a Modern Television production for BBC Four.

Kim Creed,, Tel: 07802 210972