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Alcoholic Beverages in the 1700s

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Throughout history alcohol is something that has been equally loved and hated, and there hasn't been a clear answer as to whether it is better or worse for society. This collection is showing the versatility of alcohol's uses prior to the mid-19th century. In this time period alcohol was consistently used as a medicine and I have included multiple variants of the medical purposes of these alcoholic beverages and mixtures. Also included in this collection is alcohol being used for medicinal purposes for the first president of the United States of America; George Washington. While the descriptions given for these pharmaceutical mixtures may not have been completely accurate they were obviously in some way effective or perceived to be so during this time period prior to major medical advancements that have been made today.

The secondary aspects of this collection features articles that include descriptions of different aspects of alcohol in society then and today. One of the examples is a chart from the 1790s that is condemning alcohol use and shows that even back in that time period many people understood that alcohol had many downsides and should be taken seriously, although depending on your perspective they were likely being a bit too strict about the use of it. Another article details a genetic feature known as the "Tipsy Gene" which is present in 10%-20% of the human population and drastically decreases the chances of alcoholism in the people that contain it. With such a small number of people that have a natural predisposition against alcoholism it is no surprise that is has been so prevalent in society up until today.

Washington in His Last Illness

National Portrait Gallery


National Museum of American History


National Museum of American History


National Museum of American History


National Museum of American History


National Museum of American History