As we watch the growing hysteria around alcohol these days, it would be easy to think that we are in a unique point in history.
That we aren’t was graphically illustrated when this picture (right) lobbed in my inbox recently. I was fascinated and started digging to find out a little more. It turns out it’s from a campaign by the 1940s-era US brewers lobby group, the United Brewers Industrial Foundation. I’ve tracked this particular ad down to the 15 January 1940 edition of Life magazine
The ever-reliable Jay Brooks has more extensive background about a later campaign, Beer Belongs, run by the United States Brewers Foundation, formed when the United Brewers Industrial Foundation merged with the United States Brewers’ Association to form the United States Brewers Foundation.
As I dug I found more and more of the ads. One of the more interesting (and they were all pretty good) is the second poster, from September 1938, outlining the the brewers’ own efforts to eliminate the anti-social conditions around the sale of beer. It included a call for people to follow up their local authorities and “insist that they enforce existing laws against…sales to minors and to persons who have drunk to excess”.
Seventy-two years later, as our current governments flounder and threaten all manner of new laws, maybe they could heed this same advice.
Here are a few more interests sake. They make a fascinating read, and why should we court-martial the whole regiment because of a few black sheep? Where are all of the intelligent women, and how do they feel about beer & ale?