Title Image Temperance and the Devil, the road to ruin

Temperance activists knew that alcohol could have a strong hold on drinkers, and they used fear tactics to fight this hold. Associating the devil and other demon figures with alcohol was one way to scare people away from liquor (which came to be known as "demon rum," "the devil’s blood," and even "the dark beverage of Hell.") Of course, if alcohol was the devil, then temperance Lem Motlow, one of the heirs to the Jack Daniels whiskey distillery, famously toasted 'To temperance - in moderation.activists were beneficent angels, one kind of "ardent spirits" fighting another. As early as the late 18th century, artists like William Hogarth and George Cruikshank had created bleak illustrations of the effects of drinking on the drunkard, the family, and the community; they had many 19th century successors. (Pass mouse over right image for an example from: The Drunkard's Looking-Glass. Philadelphia: Printed for the author, 1818.)

William Hogarth. Gin Lane. Engraving. London: 1751.   "The Drunkards" from Emblems of Mortality. Charleston: Babcock & Co., 1846.
 William Hogarth’s engravings Beer Street and Gin Lane were cheaply priced at one shilling in order to be affordable to all. Hogarth later explained that he made the two engravings to show the superiority of beer over gin: "In Gin Lane every circumstance of its horrid effects are brought to view…idleness, poverty, misery and ruin. Beer Street, its companion, was given as a contrast, where the invigorating liquor is recommended in order to drive the other out of vogue."  

 Alexander Anderson based his illustrations for this book on John Bewick’s illustrations for an earlier edition, which were, in turn, based on Hans Holbein’s 16th century "Dance of Death," a series of woodcuts showing various incarnations of a Grim Reaper skeleton figure




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