In 1922, the streets of New York City were awash with danger and grim tragedy. Over one thousand people lost their lives to poison, hanging, shootings, stabbings, car accidents and elevator malfunctions. This startling statistic is explored in depth in the PBS documentary “Death by Poison: The True Story of Poisoning in America” which takes viewers back to this grim era and illuminates an often overlooked chapter in American history.
The average medicine cabinet of the early 20th century was filled with a variety of deadly substances that could be purchased over the counter as easily as modern pain medications such as paracetamol. Radioactive elements like radium and thallium, strong painkillers containing morphine – all of these ingredients had devastating consequences. Scientific knowledge had not yet caught up with industrial innovation and there was no system in place for detecting or preventing crimes from being committed using these materials – until New York’s first scientifically trained medical examiner Charles Norris and his chief toxicologist Alexander Gettler stepped onto the scene. Their contributions paved the way for establishing safety standards with regards to these dangerous substances.
This documentary chronicles this shocking but powerful story through archival footage and interviews with experts who shed light on an incredibly important part of our nation’s history. It offers a unique perspective into a time when death by poison was all too common – but it also serves as a reminder of how far we’ve come since then due to advances in science and technology. This eye-opening film explores a dark chapter in American history that is sure to leave viewers both informed and inspired for future progress. So don’t miss out – watch “Death by Poison: The True Story of Poisoning in America” today!