Michigan State University

Shadows from the Walls of Death

A page with sample of Paris green paint (arsenic)

One of a handful of surviving copies of Shadows from the walls of death; facts and inferences prefacing a book of specimens of arsenical wall papers (Lansing, 1874) by Professor Robert C. Kedzie, a physician turned chemistry professor who for many years taught at Michigan Agricultural College is held in Stephen O. Murray and Keelung Hong Special Collections. Appointed to the first State Board of Health for Michigan, Kedzie wrote of the deaths that resulted from wallpaper tinted with arsenic (Paris green). Kedzie cut up 80 rolls of wallpaper containing the deadly arsenic-green and produced 100 copies for distribution to state libraries along with his scientific conclusions. The copy in Stephen O. Murray and Keelung Hong Special Collections has been conserved and the wallpaper specimens encapsulated to protect staff and patrons.