Thought for the day

"There are 14 or 15 million Americans who have the resources to have representatives in Washington to protect their interests, and that the interests of the great mass of the other people - the 150 or 160 million - is the responsibility of the president of the United States, and I propose to fulfill it." -- Harry S Truman

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These intriguing photographs, taken by photographer Charles Percy Pickering between 1863 and 1868, show the ability of wine to turn a well-meaning citizen into a staggering wreck. In five pictures, an honest, dignified gentleman slowly gets drunk in a wheelbarrow.

 

The set of photographs are believed to be staged, educational photographs probably commissioned by a local sobriety group in New South Wales, Australia.

 

Abstinence advocates encourage citizens to be teetotalers, a term describing people who abstain from alcohol altogether.

 

The New South Wales State Library website explains, "Possibly commissioned by a local sobriety group for educational purposes, the photographs may also have been used by an engraver for the illustrations. The final frame of Drunk in a Wheelbarrow S. Looks like .T. Gilles Watercolor 'Ease Without Opulence', 1863."

 

The images are examples of albumen print photographs. Invented in 1850 by Louis Desire Blanquart-एvard, this technique used albumen (literally egg whites) to bind photosensitive chemicals to paper where they could be exposed and developed. This was how most photographs were printed until the 1920s.