I am back in New York City for a few weeks; between packing and traveling, I have not had much time to write. I did want to share the following quote, however. It comes from an article titled “The Construction of Theatres”, and it is written by Warrington Taylor.
Then the property and armoury rooms must be near the stage, and a very well ventilated property shop, for the making of green leaves and other necessaries is a most unhealthy employment.
The article was written in 1865. Most of our prop shops have been built well after that, yet so many still suffer from bad or no ventilation. How can there be any excuse for this? No one should be able to run a shop or a theatre without being aware of this simple fact. We like to imagine that we know much more about safety and chemicals these days; while it is true that you can find old timers who used Celastic without gloves and worked with asbestos without a mask, the simple fact is that people were well aware of the fact that prop shops require good ventilation almost 150 years ago.