Tag Archives: Insanity

What Happened to Mary Hart of Almonte?

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What Happened to Mary Hart of Almonte?

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July 19 1884–Almonte Gazette

Unfortunate.—One day last week Miss Mary Hart, a young lady of this place who has been attending the High School for some time past, was taken to the Perth gaol, having been committed by Mr. James Rosamond, as an insane person.

In the old days women used to be committed for even PMS and why James Rosamond owner of the Rosamond Mill committed her tells me that her Father probably worked for him. I searched the archives and in insane asylum data bases and found nothing about her which made me sad. Looking at the age of her parents and the amount of siblings, which she was probably responsible for tells me she must have had a tough life.

Most of these women were kept in jails, or left to care for themselves. Sometimes they were left to wander at will and the fact I cannot find much more about young Mary Hart makes me wonder if she did not die young, I am going to keep searching.

See at the end thanksto Lee Burke

View 1881 Census of Canada

Name: Mary Hart
Gender: Female
Age: 16
Birth Year: 1865
Birthplace: Ontario
Religion: Roman Catholic
Nationality: Irish
Province: Ontario
District Number: 112
District: Lanark North
Sub-District Number: B
Subdistrict: Almonte
Division: 1
Household Members:
Name Age
Thomas Hart 56
Margt A. Hart 49
John Hart 18
Mary Hart 16
Patrick Hart 15
Frances Hart 14
Charles Hart 13
James Hart 11
Selina Hart   8

Perth Courier, October 27, 1876

Almonte:  Insane—One of the workmen employed in Mr. William Wylie’s woolen mill named Thomas Glasgow, became deranged in his mind last week and was taken to the county gaol for safe keeping.  The unfortunate man has always been a quiet, industrious, and temperate man but a short time ago he lost his wife, which misfortune is supposed to have caused his present insanity.

Perth Courier, November 10, 1876

Insane—A few weeks ago a young man named Patrick Bowes, son of Mrs. Bowes of Almonte, showed signs of insanity which last week culminated in an undeniable attack of that dreadful complaint.  He was committed to the gaol at Perth on Monday last on information laid down by his uncle, Mr. John O’Neil of Bathurst, there to await the action of the asylum authorities.  He is about 17 years of age and in his affliction both he and his widowed mother have the entire sympathy of the people of Almonte.

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Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Citizen,
  2. 27 Nov 1899, Mon,
  3. Page 7
Here is an addendum to this story

 

Linda Seccaspina

While you have shown the obituary for James Rosamond Jr. it was likely his father James Rosamond Sr. who had this woman removed from her home. James Sr. was very involved in the affairs of the town. He also had a personal experience. One of his daughters Rosiland married a doctor from Carleton Place Dr. William Hurd. Dr. Hurd died shortly after the birth of their first child in 1868. Rosiland and the child moved home to her parents. However some time between 1871 and 1881 Rosiland went to live in the Toronto Hospital for the Insane where she died in 1908.

 
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historicalnotes

 - JAS. ROSAMOND . DIESJUDOENLY Leading Citizen of...

Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 12 Dec 1925, Sat,
  3. Page 18

 

  1.  - - - m...

Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 09 Feb 1898, Wed,
  3. Page 5

 - ON A PAINFUL MISSION. Mr. Peter McLaren' ot...

Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 15 Aug 1901, Thu,
  3. Page 9

 

 

 - IMC her Pontionand Became lasaae. Miss Mary U....

Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 25 Oct 1894, Thu,
  3. Page 1

 

 

 

relatedreading

 
 
 

 

Have you Heard About Nellie Bly?

Waiting at the Perley Gates? Perley Home for Incurables

The Peculiar Case of Jeanetta Lena McHardy

The Odd Tale of Insane Johnny Long?

Embroidery of the Insane?

To Be Manic Depressive in a Rural Town — Kingston Insane Asylum

The Insane Spinster Ghost of Appleton Ontario

The Subject of Insanity

 

 

Thanks to Lee Burke

The Subject of Insanity

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The Subject of Insanity

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Photo: Assistant Physician’s Office, Brockville Asylum for the Insane, [ca. 1903

Perth Courier, March 14, 1890

The Smith’s Falls News says:  One of our citizens, Arthur Couch, is suffering from that form of insanity known as melancholia. Six or seven weeks back the symptoms first began to show themselves but no further notice was taken at the time than would be taken of a man who might become somewhat odd or preoccupied.  A couple of weeks ago however, the disease took a more dangerous turn and on Saturday the 1st inst., he made an attempt on his life which would have been successful but for the providential interference of a friend.

An effort has been made to place the unfortunate man in the asylum at Kingston but that institution was over crowded and he could not be admitted.  He is at present at home where he is carefully watched although he is quiet in demeanour.  He appears to take no interest in anything around him except horses, and knows no one except his most intimate friends to whom he will once in a while talk horses. One of the peculiarities of his madness is that of the two horses which are standing in a stable he believes one to be dead and will not feed it.

 

Perth Courier, October 27, 1876

Almonte:  Insane—One of the workmen employed in Mr. William Wylie’s woolen mill named Thomas Glasgow, became deranged in his mind last week and was taken to the county gaol for safe keeping.  The unfortunate man has always been a quiet, industrious, and temperate man but a short time ago he lost his wife, which misfortune is supposed to have caused his present insanity.

Perth Courier, November 10, 1876

Insane—A few weeks ago a young man named Patrick Bowes, son of Mrs. Bowes of Almonte, showed signs of insanity which last week culminated in an undeniable attack of that dreadful complaint.  He was committed to the gaol at Perth on Monday last on information laid down by his uncle, Mr. John O’Neil of Bathurst, there to await the action of the asylum authorities.  He is about 17 years of age and in his affliction both he and his widowed mother have the entire sympathy of the people of Almonte.

Data Base for the Rockwood Insane Asylum in Kingston, Ontario

 

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  03 Mar 1948, Wed,  Page 16

Clipped from The Buffalo Commercial,  09 Oct 1902, Thu,  Page 2

 

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)

 

 

relatedreading

The Peculiar Case of Jeanetta Lena McHardy

The Odd Tale of Insane Johnny Long?

Embroidery of the Insane?

To Be Manic Depressive in a Rural Town — Kingston Insane Asylum

The Insane Spinster Ghost of Appleton Ontariounnamed (1)

The Odd Tale of Insane Johnny Long?

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The Odd Tale of Insane Johnny Long?

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Brockville Insane Asylum

 

Yesterday the text disappeared on this story and I apologize.

May 14 1897

Johnnie Long was an inmate of Ontario asylums for sixteen years and among others was removed to the Brockville institution. Not long after he moved a Lanark County  gentleman came to the asylum here to take home a friend who had completely recovered.

While he was getting into the rig Johnnie called him by name. The visitor couldn’t place him, but Johnnie was sure of his name, and asked quite sharply,

“ Why, don’t you know Johnnie Long?”

“What! Johnnie Long who worked for father twenty years ago?”

“ I’m the chap,” said the inmate, and at once fell into an interesting conversation. Long found out for the first time that his father had been dead for ten years, but his mother was still living. The family knew nothing of his whereabouts, having heard nothing from him for many years.

The result was that when the Carleton County man reported to the aged mother that je had seen the lost boy, there was great joy, and in day or two a brother came out and took Johnnie home to the paternal roof.

With files from the Brockville Recorder.

 

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun

Mary Delaney Caught Stealing at The People’s Store

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Mary Delaney Caught Stealing at The People’s Store

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Photo- Almonte Gazette 1871

November 15 1871

Editor Almonte Gazette:— In your last issue I noticed an item on “Shop Lifting.’

Since then it has been rumoured that the party’s name; who committed the theft was Mary Delaney. I deny knowing anything about the matter whatsoever. By giving this a place in your valuable paper, you will oblige .

Yours, Mary Delaney

November 10 1871-Almonte Gazette

While the proprietors and clerks of The People’s Store were out at *the fire on Monday, a young lady coolly appropriated to herself a parcel of dry goods, put up for a customer, and carried it off. The theft, however, was quickly discovered, and the suspected party was followed and the goods were found in her possession. They were taken back and the woman was allowed to depart in peace.

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Photo thanks to Brent Eades of Almonte.com

Within the special world of new stores, women found themselves challenged to resist the enticements of consumption. It was the tiniest of crimes, but it wasn’t innocent- the history of shoplifting  really remains unwritten.  Once tied to the rise of the kleptomania, most shoplifting was done by female customers.  With all the new choices  some women couldn’t help but steal. It’s actually rather interesting to note that with the rise of cheap items and a plethora of choices in shopping, people felt more compelled to take it than buy it.

Did you know that buying something, wearing it to a party, and returning it to the store the next morning was a known occurrence in the nineteenth century? Another crazy aspect was that sometimes women were deemed insane in relation to the crime of shoplifting. So, if I was Mary Delaney from Almonte I would have written to the newspaper too before I was *committed.

It was one of the first areas in which a woman’s crime was seen to be an aspect of mental illness rather than criminality. The concept that a respectable woman, who had been caught stealing something which she did not need, was an anathema to a society who could see no reason for a respectable woman to steal something which she could easily afford.

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Photo- Almonte Gazette 1871

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historicalnotes

The decoration of stores and private residences is a proof of the good wishes of the citizens and an evidence of their interest in the undertaking. Many places of business were tastefully adorned with banners and evergreens. The Dominion Block was surrounded by balsams, while the windows of Messrs. Hayes, Gavin and Gardner were tastefully dressed. A rope stretched to the Almonte House bore the words “The People’s Store Welcomes All.”— Grand Balloon Ascension At McFarlane’s Grove In 1879

No photo description available.

Our pushing young merchants, Messrs. Riddell & McAdam,
have purchased the •People’s Store• property from Mrs. J.T~
Brown, and will shortly remove to their new stand. The price
paid was $5,550. At the sale on Saturday afternoon .Mr. Wm.
Curry, blacksmith, bought the Cowie pump factory and the
residence adjoining, paying therefor.$950. Sept 1890 Almonte Gazette-

1889 map — this is almost surely it. Note the 3-story main building with 2-story addition, and the bevelled corner.-Brent Eades (People’s store)

*Fire–On Monday forenoon a defective chimney in Mr. J. L. Reed’s house set fire to the wood-work adjoining, and for a few moments there was every prospect of the long-expected fire that is some day to lay Mill Street in ashes. The fire being discovered before it had gained much headway, it was soon put out with a few buckets of water. The loss was very trifling— about §10. November 1871

Almonte Gazette–April 1 1892-
Four Smith’s Falls boys were lately
fined $2 and costs each for loafing at a
street corner on Sunday evening. This
should be a warning to the crowd that on
Sundays lounge around the People’s
Store corner staring at people going to
Church–

*May 6 1892-Wonder where those loafers were when the fire started? On Tuesday last the People’s Store brick block had a narrow escape from being damaged by fire. The chimney leading from Mrs. Greig’s kitchen stove runs up the wall between her residence and Riddell & McAdam’s store. Tuesday noon the chimney took fire, and through an imperfectly protected pipe hole in R. & M’s. the flame was communicated to a curtain stretched across it.

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun

related reading

Lanark County “Bad Girls”– Bank Street 1873

“Wenches” in Almonte??

*To Be Manic Depressive in a Rural Town — Kingston Insane Asylum

The Insane Spinster Ghost of Appleton Ontario

Embroidery of the Insane?

Just Another Day in Fawlty Towers

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People often doubt the drama that happens at my home, but in reality it is all true, and sometimes, it goes for the gold. The house is very old, and every single day is like a scene from the film The Money Pit. There does not seem to be a day that goes by that something  doesn’t pop, explode or fizzle.

 

It began the day before when I smelled what I thought was a gas leak or a backed up sewer line and local superman plumber Blair White was called in to check it out. After examining everything he opened a door and said,

 

“Linda, what you’ve got here is a dead mouse somewhere under the furnace or in the walls.”

 

The internet told me it would take 10 days for the smell to go away and not any amount of Febreeze would help. My bedroom now smells like a bus station restroom, but-

 

I’ve got a strong nose- I can deal with that.

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It has been way too hot for a  long time, and never in my life have I had ants in my house. Today I woke up to a huge squadron of them making my cookbooks home. Breakfast was spent gritting my teeth watching the little critters slide from one book to the other finally camping out in the Company’s Coming section. Then, we had an Amityville  Horror film version of cluster flies attacking the second floor but–

 

I’ve got Raid I can deal with this.

 

This afternoon one of the raccoons who has made his home in one of my roof peaks was seen drinking and swimming in my fountain like he was at a local spa. He would not even budge when he saw me as– my home is his home- and he does not have to pay taxes, nor does he care.

 

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This has been going on forever- I can wait a few more weeks until the Hanet’s from Perth show up to close up the peak.

 

Tonight Steve phoned me from the kitchen (it’s a big house folks no one hears anything) and says,

 

“There’s a bat in the kitchen!”

 

I told him to shut the doors hoping to trap the little sucker in there. Not likely. Fifteen minutes later the bat makes his way to the second floor interrupting America’s Got Talent. We run downstairs and man ourselves with Squash rackets that were expressly made for killing bats and not to play the sport.

 

We attempt to find him and eventually see him curled up on the floor. Steve hits him and he misses. I scream,”WTH?” (actually you can probably replace the H with another initial). I ask him what his issue is not killing the bat. Seeing he just immigrated here from California he looks at me and says with downcast eyes,

 

“Well, it was my first bat!”

 

The bat by this time has disappeared somewhere in that room and no amount of high powered rays from the trusty flashlight can find it. We shut off the TV knowing there will be no watching “Chopped” for us tonight and go down to the kitchen.

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Sitting around the kitchen island we notice flashlights beaming at us from the other side of the gate and waving hands. Was it a neighbour?  Was it my son Perry, well renowned bat-catcher, coming to save the day? Actually, it was our brave men in blue (OPP) coming to find out if everything was okay. A neighbour had seen the flashlight beams in the TV room and saw the TV shut off off early, called 911, and reported something suspicious going on in our house.

 

So, after having a good laugh and hearing some good bat-catching tips from our friendly OPP we came back in and I told Steve we had to catch the bat in the morning as we have no catch and release program in this house. His response?

 

“Okay, but I need my breakfast first as I can’t catch the bat on an empty stomach- and I definitely need my coffee!”

 

Stay tuned for more episodes- as the fun never stops here.

Neighbour Jennifer Fenwick Irwin– Wasn’t me who called the cops! I met them at your front gate, checking the lock with flashlights! They said good evening to my dog Bindy and I carried on inspecting the fence!

 

 

 

The 19th Century Nervous Breakdown

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Photo from Google Image

 

News items From the Perth Courier from Archives Lanark 1897

John McQuarrie of Lanark was confined in the Perth jail a year or two ago for insanity  and taken from there to the asylum at Kingston died in that institution and was buried in Lanark last week.

Emeline Ferguson, insane, sent to jail.

Innisville Inklings:  Miss Maggie Steen, a young lady of Innisville, lost her reason last week and was taken to the Perth jail to be cared for.

These days, work stress, postnatal depression and anxiety are addressed hopefully with great understanding. But years ago, the women who suffered from these conditions, were confined to an asylum as they had no other place to put them.

But who decided if a person was mad or not? And just how did you end up in a Victorian asylum? In those days women could find themselves labelled insane and locked up in madhouses for a range of conditions – from postnatal depression to alcoholism or senile dementia, and even for social transgressions such as infidelity (‘moral insanity’).
Nineteenth century doctors knew next to nothing about the mind. They tried to discover what had triggered a mental breakdown, and list that incident as the ’cause’ of the illness. Dr Hugh Diamond, believed that the then new science of photography could help to diagnose mental illness by capturing what he called the ‘exact point that had been reached in the scale of unhappiness’.

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Photo from Google Image

 

Thousands of people passed through the county asylums. But some of the mental health provision  was still in private houses, often run by nonmedical men who did little more than keep patients locked away. With their living coming from the profit, there was little incentive to discharge patients who could be detained.

Anyone who could persuade two doctors to sign certificates of insanity could put away inconvenient or embarrassing relatives in a madhouse. Women – with lower social status, and usually less power and money – were more vulnerable. Some were sent away just because they suffered from severe epileptic fits

One woman had been the only servant in a 20-room house and was unable to keep up with the work over the hard winter months when every room would have required a fire burning in its grate and lamps to be lit early. Doctors  then would diagnose burnout and acute stress as a form of insanity.

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Photo from Google Image

 

Mercury, known as calomel, was considered an effective treatment for hysteria but, like most of the medicines prescribed for mental illness, was highly toxic. Antimony, a toxic chemical now used in fire retardants, was employed to keep patients in a state of nausea, making acts of violence less likely. It was an early example of the ‘chemical cosh’.

Women’s sexuality was a prime focus of male Victorian physicians. Erotomania (hypersexuality) was considered a constant danger in female patients and could accompany hysteria. Most times a  cold bath, a douche and cold applications to the regions of the uterus were all employed as a cure.

Was insanity just a perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world? Maybe the same could be said now?

 

 

RELATED READING:

 

To Be Manic Depressive in a Rural Town — Kingston Insane Asylum

Women in Peril 1868 — Mathilda Routh

The Very Sad Tale of Hessie Churchill

The Criminals of Carleton Place

 

The Strange Disappearance of Bertha Sumner of Carleton Place

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Carleton Place, May 23, 1893.

In May of 1893 the second daughter of Carleton Place retailer James Sumner was reported missing in the Almonte Gazette. Bertha left home at approximately 3 pm that day on her way to have tea with Miss Cram, daughter of Mr. W. Cram.

The 18 year-old was last seen knocking on the Cram’s door around 4 pm and later on seen on the bridge watching the steamer being launched. After that Bertha Sumner completely disappeared, and the next day the minister announced her disappearance from the pulpit encouraging everyone to look for her. It was reported that she was last wearing a plaid dress of a gray-greenish color and a black straw hat.

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Her Mother became frantic, and so on Monday they closed the Carleton Place High School and the teachers and pupils formed search parties, but they never found her. A week later a man by the name of Thomas Houston found Bertha’s lifeless body lying under a spruce tree near her home where it was said she had committed suicide.

When Constable Wilson appeared on the scene it was reported that a bottle of carbolic acid, a bowl, a note and a glass tube was by her side. The note beside her said that she was sick of life and not to blame anyone for her demise.

Carbolic acid, also known as phenol, would’ve been commonly available as a disinfectant. Highly poisonous, when consumed it caused a horrible reaction of vomiting and purging, delirium, and convulsions. It was a popular method of suicide similar to another young woman’s story I read today. An ounce could be purchased at a drugstore for about fifteen cents.

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In June 23rd of the same year in the Perth Courier, and as early as June 16 in the Carleton Place Herald were ads stating the following:

Messrs E. Hutchings and James Sumner of Carleton Place are selling out and intend retiring from business.

How odd that her father chose to close his flourishing business barely a month after the death of his daughter. After doing research in more newspapers it was reported once again that no inquest was made into her death as she was probably suffering from a bout of insanity. It seems that Bertha had suffered from time to time from short bouts of insanity. (PMS?)  The Almonte Gazette suggested maybe one of these spasms of insanity had seized her that particular afternoon.

The note found next to her lifeless body had been written in ink, yet she had transported no pen and ink (let alone a bowl, carbolic acid and a vile) and was on her way to friends. The media and police quickly brushed it aside and said she had probably written the note before she left home.

Her remains were buried in the Dewar cemetery and a large number of sympathizing friends and acquaintances came to graveside. There is no record of her gravestone at Dewar Cemetery.

Historical Notes

Image may contain: drink

A couple little cobalt poisons–

Hoop Skirts and Parasols–Carleton Place

New firm, in Sumner’s stand.  Dry goods, fancy flannel shirtings, hoop skirts, parasols, gloves, veils, gents’ paper collars, ladies’ do., groceries, crockery and glassware, hardware. –Carleton Place Herald

Name Bertha D Sumner
Gender Female
Age 7y
Birth Year 1874
Birthplace Ontario
Ethnicity English
Religion Ch England
Head of Household Name James Sumner
Event Place Carleton Place, Lanark South, Ontario, Canada
District Number 111
Sub-District H
Page Number 46
Family Number 217
Affiliate Film Number C-13233

Linda’s Dreadful Dark Tales — There’s a Whole Lot of Nuttin Going On! – Zoomer

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Linda’s Dreadful Dark Tales — There’s a Whole Lot of Nuttin Going On! – Zoomer.

Insane Interview With the Travelocity Gnome’s Cousin – Cyril – Zoomer

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Insane Interview With the Travelocity Gnome’s Cousin – Cyril – Zoomer.

 

“Two years ago I interviewed Cyril the Gnome, who is the first cousin of the famed Travelocity Gnome. Cyril’s taco truck is still sitting in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and has been invaded by elderly hippies. They have already changed the name of the truck to:

 “Would you like this truck on your party?”

Thankfully, I managed to contact him through E.S.P  to continue this Q and A that I began 2 years ago. No, I am not on drugs, this was actually this week’s Zoomers writing challenge.”

Titanic II To Be Built – Marketing Fail – Zoomers

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Titanic II To Be Built – Marketing Fail – Zoomers.

 

 

Today, the plans for the Titanic II were revealed. This idea is nothing but a total marketing fail, as nothing says safety like boarding the newly proposed Titanic II. Yes boys and girls,  Australian billionaire Clive Palmer is preparing to have Titanic ll built in China. There is absolutely nothing to fear as since it’s being built in the far east.  You know that the hull of the ship will be made with the highest quality plastic that money can buy. What could possibly go wrong?