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.