Trivia

Hard

What Dangerous Substance Was Used Liberally On Early Movie Sets?

Mercury
Arsenic
Butane
Asbestos

Answer: Asbestos

If you were a movie star in the early 20th century and you found yourself in a scene that required snowfall, you’d find yourself completely covered in none other than asbestos–the same substance that, in the later 20th century, science would firmly establish as a horrible contaminant responsible for lung cancer and other ailments.

In the early years, however, when the dangers of asbestos were unknown (and it was toted as a wonder material that should be, and was, used for all manner of things), it was used as fake snow on movie sets. Buckets and buckets of dangerous friable asbestos were dumped from the rafters onto actors to simulate snow fall.

It wasn’t just movie stars of the day who were at risk, either. Department stores used asbestos snow to decorate their store front displays and festive home owners would sprinkle the perfectly white powdery fibers over holiday decorations, train sets, and windowsills.

The most bizarre aspect of the decades long use of asbestos as simulated snow is that it replaced cotton batting in the role–a completely harmless and inert substance. Asbestos snow fell out of favor around World War II when the U.S. government began buying up all the asbestos for the war effort.

Trivia

Easy

U.S. Presidential Retreat, Camp David, Is Named After?

Trivia

Very Hard

Which Empire Ruled Over The Largest Percentage Of Earth’s Population?

Trivia

Hard

The Compound Nicotine Is Named After A?

Trivia

Hard

The Country With The Largest Population Of Camels Is?

Trivia

Hard

The Most Efficient Wheelbarrow In The Ancient World Was Invented By The?

Trivia

Hard

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Trivia

Easy

The Killer In 1978’s Horror Hit Halloween Wore A Mask Of Which Sci-Fi Actor?

Trivia

Hard

TIME Magazine’s “Man Of The Year” Cover Was Created After They Failed To Honor?

Trivia

Hard

The Crowdfunded Film That Reached Its Funding Goal The Fastest Was?

Trivia

Hard

Rock’s Law Is An Observational Rule Of Computing That Covers?