Sunday, January 29, 2017
I am watching Ripper Street, a grim show about Victorian police work in the East End of London. Tonight's episode was centered on "phossy jaw," a disfiguring poisoning of female match workers caused by exposure to white phosphorous (hence the name). Many years ago, a Salvation Army officer told me that the Army played a big part in ending phossy jaw. I could never find anything about that, but Google's continuing digitizing of books has paid off. D.E.C. Corbridge, Phosphorus: Chemistry, Biochemistry and Technology, Sixth Edition describes how the Salvation Army set up match factories in London using a new safer technology, competing with "the vested interests" and to improve wages for the workers. Talk about putting your faith in action!