drinking in the darkroom

From: Judy Seigel ^lt;jseigel@panix.com>
Date: 11/01/04-08:29:04 PM Z
Message-id: <Pine.NEB.4.61.0411012113420.11522@panix1.panix.com>

On Mon, 1 Nov 2004, Christina Z. Anderson wrote:
> Speaking of which, you know in the late 1800's/early 1900's there were deaths
> from potassium bichromate because of people drinking it. One man thought it
> was his beer and drank it up. I read that, and thought, how could you mix up
> the two? The other day I was doing gums and went to get my drink (coffee),
> and picked up the wrong cup for a brief second--my gum mixing cup (plastic
> see thru). Then I realized how easy it would be to do that, even when the
> cups don't look alike.
> Chris

The story I remember was, I think, in Bill Jay's "Cyanide and Spirits,"
but it wasn't potassium bichromate -- rather it was potassium cyanide
confused with the beer. Which does seem more likely: The cyanide, being
very lethal, would act quickly, before the drinker noticed the taste.
Bichromate, however lethal it might be, is probably slower. (After all,
they used to use it to preserve sausage.) Surely even English beer would
taste noticeably different.

Received on Mon Nov 1 20:29:51 2004

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