January 29th, 2010

Victorian term of address for a physician

Setting: 1870's England, characters are upper-middle-class

From my understanding of history, public trust and respect for "modern" (college-educated, doctorate-holding) physicians didn't really become widespread until the late 19th century - I'm fuzzy on the exact dates (post American Civil War to be sure) and how it varied between the US and the UK.

Given that, would it be considered necessary/polite for someone to address a physician as "Dr. So-And-So," or had society not yet placed much importance on doctorates? Would calling a doctor "Mr. So-And-So" even be considered an insult?

I've searched variations on "Victorian doctor term of address," and (unsurprisingly) come up with nothing.

Stage Magicians and Dangerous Magic

I didn't see anything like this in the tags, so I'm going to hope I'm not asking an answered question. *Crosses fingers*

Setting: Pseudo-Victorian setting with steampunk-esque anachronisms and a dash of magic tossed in.
Searched: Stage magic safety, dangerous magic tricks, [and for specific question] various combinations of "axe", "fire axe", "breaking glass", etc.

Basically, one of the characters in the setting is a Stage Magician, who usually likes to preform escape artist tricks. The setting does have real magic, but it's not as helpful to him as you might think - if anything, it ups the ante to perform something that would really awe the crowd.

The questions:

[Specific Question] - I wanted to emphasize how dangerous his parlor tricks were by having various "safety" items around his room. In the start of the movie "The Prestige", one of the characters uses an axe to smash open a glass tank filled with water and try to rescue the woman inside. The glass tank was pretty huge in size, big enough to contain the woman and then some. Would it be even remotely plausible to try this in a "real life", non-Hollywood instance, or would the glass necessary to hold that much water be too thick to be broken with simple brute force?

[Generic Question] - Are there any other types of magician safety measures that might by lying around his room? I couldn't find much on the subject, not helped by the magicians (obviously) not liking to tell how they perform their tricks. Is there just not a lot of info on this because there wasn't a lot of safety in general, in that era?

ETA: Sigh - this is what I get for posting late at night. The setting is really an anachronistic mashup, so just assume Victorian is right and be done with it. And edited it add the title I could have sworn I'd typed in the first place...