Sunday, October 06, 2013

Greeting Card Campaign: 10-6 Mad Hatter Day

Click here to download card.
October 6th is Mad Hatter Day.  Ever wonder where the phrase "mad as a hatter" came from.  You probably thought it came from the Mad Hatter character in Lewis Carroll's classic fantasy story, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland?  It actually has a darker origin than the famous children's story.  It seems that mercury was once employed in the process of curing felt by the hat-making industry in the 18th and 19th centuries. Mercury fumes can be inhaled and accumulates in the body.  Mercury can cause permanent brain and neurological damage, slurred speech and confusion and many workers in the hat-making industry suffered from what was then called mad hatter disease.  Apparently, around Lewis Carroll's time a lot of local hat-makers went crazy in the town of Stockport where Carrol lived. The phrase "mad as a hatter" was in common use at the time Carroll created his own "Mad Hatter". 

In the book, the picture of the Mad Hatter shows a tag stuck in his hat that reads "10/6.".   I'm not sure whether the 10/6 tag had some meaning to hatters in general or whether it had a private meaning to Lewis Carroll, but the tag did suggest a date to celebrate Mad Hatters in general.  The holiday was started back in the mid 80s by a group of computer specialists in Colorado. Whether computer specialists encounter mercury in the course of their jobs or not, they apparently celebrated the day by breaking out the hookah's, grinning like Chesire cats and being a bit crazy.  Of course, with computer geeks, one has to look rather more carefully to tell whether their antics are the result of the Mad Hatter Day celebration or if they're being their usual nuts from spending too long at their computer terminals.

Anyway, my suggestion is to celebrate October 6th by sending your love this Mad Hatter Day card to let her know you are mad about her!  Just click on the caption below the picture of the Mad Hatter at the top left.  The link will take you to a pdf file in Google Docs. Remember, instead of printing from Google Docs, click on "File" in the upper left corner, then select "Download" and copy the file to your own computer.  Open it with Adobe PDF Reader or whatever PDF reader you use and print the card from there. For some reason Google Docs doesn't handle fonts well, even though they are supposed to be embedded in the PDF document itself.

This is a side fold card, so when it prints, be sure to tell your printer it's in "landscape" format so you get the whole file. Flip it on the short side to print double-sided. Much quicker that way.  Just try not to go down any odd rabbit holes while you're at it.

© 2013 by Tom King

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