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Old 12-15-2018, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by mike1003 View Post
AN interesting bit of American history that I never heard about, even though I grew up in a whiskey family

American drinking habits in the Nineteenth Century played a key role in the failed Prohibition and Temperance Movement. Whiskey is a distilled spirit and has the heaviest concentration of alcohol.

Beer and wine had been drunken for ages. With the addition of distilled spirits alcoholism and the destruction of the body that occurs with repeated inebriation became more common.

There is some dispute over whether many supporters of the Prohibition movement even intended to outlaw beer and wine. Yet, the constitutional amendment outlawing the consumption of alcoholic beverages made no distinction it applied to distilled spirits as well as beer and wine.

In any event, there is no doubt distilled spirits were responsible for much of the alcoholism that was present in the country.
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Old 12-15-2018, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by ScoPro View Post
Remember in one of those “Back to the Future” films when Marty McFly went back to the 1870s to visit his great great grandfather, a farmer?
At the homestead dinner table he asked for a glass of water and was served a murky-looking liquid straight from the well. Lol

Guess that’s why spring water was so highly prized.
Don't forget the buckshot he spit out from the rabbit...lol...
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Old 12-15-2018, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by eaton53 View Post
When I was a kid, we would get whiskey when we didn't have cough syrup.
Hot Toddy ...my sister would fake it sometimes lol ...
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Old 12-15-2018, 12:11 PM
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I try to remember some of his quotes : google "wc fields water quote"
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Old 12-15-2018, 02:34 PM
Location: San Diego CA
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And in the end there was the formidable six foot tall Carrie Nation wielding her hatchet and chopping up the whiskey barrels. Drinking was a major problem and spawned the Temperance movement and ultimately the period of Prohibition just after World War I.
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Old 12-15-2018, 03:38 PM
Location: The Woods
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Hard cider was probably the drink of choice in New England. It was normal for multiple barrels of hard cider to be in the cellar. Most of the old orchards you can find in the woods here by old homesites, were strictly for cider making (poor apples for eating).

It was common practice at least in the 18th century to dilute drinks with water. The potentially bad water was in the process disinfected and the alcoholic drinks went further.
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Old 12-15-2018, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by madison999 View Post
In the Wild West years I read that the whiskey part was kinda bs. It said whiskey poisoning was common and could be fatal, which caused many to avoid it.

Beer was more popular than what’s shown on tv and movies. And other weird drinks, one was raw eggs in a mug of warm beer. Yuck.

Just what I’ve read...
Sounds like what apparently is going on in the smaller towns in Russia's Far East. Drinking water is of questionable quality, high amount of alcoholism, and questionable homebrews.
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Old 12-18-2018, 04:05 AM
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Originally Posted by ciceropolo View Post
The greater amount of personal consumption (of any alcohol) was due mostly to limited amounts of potable drinking water. The poor sanitation of the times coupled with plentiful land to grow base crops which could be best converted to something of longer 'shelf' life to use as commercially viable goods (in condensed liquid form).

Most every place around the world prior to mass sanitation advances drank much more alcoholic beverage(s) since choices were limited and the produce to make liquid refreshments were almost all converted to 'alcoholic spirits' of varying degrees (ciders, brandies et al) prior to mass industrialized refrigeration (duration of foods) and global commerce on mass scale (selection of foods).

Side note - this is what makes advances of some ancient civilizations all the more interesting whether Roman or others on mass scale. It took civil sanitation engineering technology to enable larger populations to live in close proximity.

This may be helpful or of interest:


One of the main reasons beer/lager, gin and other alcoholic beverages became popular in England (later the United Kingdom) was the historically highly iffy quality of water, especially in cities like London. It would be hundreds years of course before Pasteur and others proved the link between *germs* and illness, but people figured out that drinking water in many cases lead to illness that could (and did) kill. All those mass typhoid epidemics for instance.

When tea was introduced to Europe it took on a huge popularity for same reasons. People again didn't know exactly why, but put together that boiled water for various teas or coffee was vastly better than the stuff straight in regards to health.

In film "Death in Venice" there is a scene where an American tourist warns is fellow travelers *not* to eat the fruit even if it was washed. This is of course the second them of the film; besides that old man chasing after the young boy, Venice was in the grip of a typhoid epidemic.
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Old Today, 01:41 AM
Location: Cushing OK
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Originally Posted by joe from dayton View Post
Alcohol was considered to be healthy and a cure for many ills. A lot of the alcohol was also ciders, and beers, including small beers. Water was not considered to be a healthy drink.

It likely had something worth listening to to say. Back then people cleaned with poisons we won't let bug spray use today. They used things like arsenic for beauty makeovers. Streams went through inhabited areas with everything bad in them spread further. Not only was disease spread this way, but things we call poison now were sold as medicine or tonics or other uses we wouldn't put in the water supply.

Some areas, whatever got dumped into the creek was still there when it was pulled out of wells or ponds for food and drink.
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