When Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb in 1882, it ushered in a new era of convenience, but it also ushered in a new era of danger. Today, everyone knows not to stick a penny into an electrical socket. But in the early 20th century, the public was mostly ignorant to the hazards posed by electricity.
Dr. Stefan Jellinek was an Austrian coroner who began seeing electricity-related deaths around the turn of the century. By 1931, electricity had only just been introduced into the homes of Germans and Austrians. It was clear to Dr. Jellinek that the public needed to be educated on how not to electrocute themselves.
That year, Dr. Jellinek published Elektroschutz in 132 Bildern, or Electrical Protection in 132 Images. And while the book provided a valuable service to the people of 1930’s Austria, to us in 2019, these warnings look bizarre and nonsensical.
Is it unfair to make fun of a book that was written for people in a completely different era than our own? Yep. Will that stop me from writing snarky comments about these warnings? Nope! Check out 15 truly bonkers electrocution warnings that will make us all feel superior to people who lived in the 1930s!
1. Don’t pee on electrical wiring.
This one’s probably a myth, but better safe than sorry.
2. Don’t let your dog pee on electrical wiring, either.
3. Don’t use a lamp instead of a flashlight.
4. Tinsel is a silvery menace.
5. If you can’t find a pacifier, don’t give your baby a plugged-in appliance.
6. Don’t bathe, ever.
7. Don’t touch power lines, if you are a squirrel.
8. Don’t chew on exposed wiring, if you are a rat.
9. Don’t wear a telephone as a necklace.
10. Don’t hold two lamps in bed at the same time.
11. Don’t practice chopsticks on an electrical socket.
12. Don’t listen to music on your headphones while ironing.
13. Don’t cut electrical wiring while your friend performs an indecent act on you.
14. Don’t milk a cow next to an electric light.
15. Electrocuting your Dad is not a “hilarious prank.”
h/t: Vintage Everyday