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Old 12-12-2018, 12:07 PM
 
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AN interesting bit of American history that I never heard about, even though I grew up in a whiskey family

https://www.pastemagazine.com/articl...ke-it-was.html

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History, by and large, tends to be considerably more complicated than our pop cultural understanding of it. A historical movement as broad as the prohibition of alcohol in the United States, for instance, was the result of so much more than a mere crusade of moralistic teetotalers. Just as itís grossly, hilariously simplistic to describe a conflict such as the Civil War as having been fought ďto end slavery,Ē itís equally myopic to think about a topic as complex as Prohibition in the terms of ďdrinkers vs. non-drinkers.Ē In reality, there were so many other racial, political, religious, economic and nationalistic factors in play that the full story is actually an unlikely coming-together of many groups with very disparate goals, held in a bizarre alliance by their opposition to the alcohol industry.

With all of that said, though, thereís one aspect of the road to Prohibition that is undeniable, and thatís the American appetite for alcohol. In short: We have oftentimes been a nation of drunks, but by todayís standards, average alcohol consumption in large parts of the 19th century U.S.A. was almost beyond rational belief. You will likely find it hard to accept as a fact just how much booze the average American was consuming in the first half of the 1800ís. The figures are almost cartoonishly high, so letís consider how we got there first.
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Old 12-12-2018, 01:19 PM
 
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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.
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Old 12-12-2018, 01:47 PM
 
Location: Round Rock, Texas
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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.
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Old 12-12-2018, 05:47 PM
 
Location: Annandale, VA
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Originally Posted by ScoPro View Post
Remember in one of those ďBack to the FutureĒ 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 thatís why spring water was so highly prized.


Watch any western movie or TV show and men go to the saloon and buy an entire bottle of whiskey to consume. I know it is fake, but the idea is that people could drink an entire 5th of liquor and not pass out drunk before they left the saloon.
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Old 12-12-2018, 05:53 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
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Originally Posted by kevinm View Post
Watch any western movie or TV show and men go to the saloon and buy an entire bottle of whiskey to consume. I know it is fake, but the idea is that people could drink an entire 5th of liquor and not pass out drunk before they left the saloon.
Yeah, but some of that "whiskey" wasn't quite.

https://drinks.seriouseats.com/2013/...-west-era.html
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Old 12-12-2018, 07:12 PM
 
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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:
https://www.mountvernon.org/george-w...key-rebellion/
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Old 12-12-2018, 10:36 PM
 
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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 whatís shown on tv and movies. And other weird drinks, one was raw eggs in a mug of warm beer. Yuck.

Just what Iíve read...
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Old 12-13-2018, 03:09 AM
 
Location: Glasgow Scotland
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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.
Most water was polluted by then and even before that they drank honey mead etc
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Old 12-13-2018, 06:45 AM
 
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Their life expectancy was maybe 40 with a 1/3 of their kds dying before 1. I would drink mucho whiskey too.
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Old 12-13-2018, 07:30 AM
 
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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.
Back then.....it probably wasnít. There were no filtration systems or any type of delivery. Everything was well water. And it had impurities along with whatever bacteria and microbes lived in the water.
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