I’d always heard that the Mad Hatter from Alice In Wonderland was based ‘Mad Hatters Disease’, something people got in the old days because hat makers worked with poisonous chemicals which after a while would make them go bonkers.
But it turns out there’s another theory about the Mad Hatter: that he was based on a real person, a guy who had ties to both the author and the illustrator of Alice In Wonderland.
And like the people who came down with Mad Hatters Disease he was known for being a bit bonkers himself –but without the need of any kind of poisoning.
His name was Theophilus Carter and he was well known for standing in the doorway of his furniture shop with a top hat on, no matter what else he was wearing. Apparently his personality was a bit eccentric, and after a while he got so notorious that people in the area gave him the nickname ‘The Mad Hatter.’
Theophilus Carter is even believed to have come up with a kooky invention called The Alarm Clock Bed, whose main selling point was to wake a person up by dumping them into a tub of cold water.
That does sound very Mad Hatter-ish doesn’t it? And it also makes me wonder about what other awesome inventions he must have had hiding in that Mad Hatter furniture shop of his :D.
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