The Drinking History of the US

I have been reading "A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico" and I notice a common theme with other history books about the early US --drinking alcohol was a major preoccupation with early Americans. I became curious enough that I looked in the book "The Alcoholic Republic: An American Tradition" by W.J. Rorabaugh and found the following chart.


Notice the huge drop in consumption around 1850. This drop is consistent with development of a temperance movement in the US in the mid-19th century. This movement was significant enough to be mentioned in the history books that I have been reading.

As a boy, I delivered the Minneapolis Star afternoon newspaper door-to-door. Every two weeks I would collect money for the papers I delivered. People usually invited me into their homes because Minnesota was often cold outside. I was always surprise at the number of people who were drunk when I entered their homes. It did not matter what time of day I stopped by. I cannot imagine what I would have encountered if the alcohol consumption levels were two or three times greater than they were in 1970, a year in which I delivered papers.

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3 Responses to The Drinking History of the US

  1. What do you know about the mathematics of space elevators? I have some questions about the distance and falling rates. THX!

    • mathscinotes says:

      My sons and I talk about this technology quite a bit. I will add it to my list of posts to be written. Unfortunately, enough math passes my way that the list keeps growing. However, this is an interesting subject for which I have some information.


      • I wish to make sure that my math is correct. I have begun the 3D models of a graphic novel I am producing, a space elevator's speed and heights for certain parts of the story will need to be considered - for accuracy sake!


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