Friday, February 6, 2009

War against Absinthe




In 1896 Privat-Livemont designed this magnificent lithograph advertising Absinthe.


.

.


.

.


A most elequent article appeared in "Le Temps" a short time ago written by the famous Administrator of the Comedie Francaise, devoted to the war againts alcoholism, absinthe in particular.
Alcoholism being the curse of France may explain why so many persons are are just now expressing their opinions upon the subject under discussion.
Deputies Buisson and Joseph Reinach, are bringing before the Chamber a Bill to prohibit the manufacture, distribution and sale of absinthe from the first of January, 1910.
Meanwhile manufacturers are working like niggers, night and day, turning out thousands of gallons; they are making the most of their short time.
Fifteen years ago Deputy Joseph Reinach proposed in the Chamber a Bill to limit the number of public-houses.
The Bill was not even discussed, thus recalling the recent fate of the Licensing Bill in the House of Lords.
There were, in 1894, no fewer than 4,500,000 houses for the sale of liquor in France; another half a million have since sprung up!
In 1894 the annual consumption of alcohol was 814,000,000 gallons, today it is more than 1,100,000,000 gallons, not counting that which escapes the revenue officers!
The worst alcoholism, says M. Jules Claretie, is that due to absinthe, the consumption of which rose between 1901 and 1904 from six and a half million gallons to nearly eight million gallons.
Alcoholism is the most powerful factor in the propogation of tuberculosis according to Dr Brouardel.
.
Eastern Province Herald - February 3, 1909
.
Absinthe apparently had an incredibly high alcohol content. The figures above are unbelievable. Do you remember the Touluse Lautrec poster that was so popular in the '70s? Apparently the word "nigger" was not considered offensive at that time. Things have certainly changed since then.

No comments: