Mauve boots dyed with the new synthetic colour dye containing arsenic, picric acid, and other toxic chemicals, circa 1860s, from the collection of the Bata Shoe Museum
It is estimated that, during the late 1850s and late 1860s in England, about 3,000 women were killed in crinoline-related fires. In 1861, Fanny Appleton Longfellow died from the burns when her dress caught fire. In 1871, Oscar Wilde’s half-sisters, Emily and Mary, died of burns sustained after their evening gowns caught fire.
The Tragedy of Continental Theatre Fire in Philadelphia, 1861. Six or nine ballerinas died (reports vary). Four of fatalities were from the one family; they were the celebrated Gale sisters, from England. The problem was the flammable gauze of the costumes, that blazed fiercely when alight.