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Danger lurking: the perils of drink

This artickle is presented with a a delicately-worded note to readers, warning them of the graphic content contained herein. Amazingly, none of the Facts presented in the issue of the day - to have Legal, Taxed Sales of Alcoholic Beverages or continue the Current Distribution System - has addressed this real issue: The danger of injury from exploding bottles of carbonated drinks, as so eloquently stated and reliably reported by the Adair County News on June 30, 1909.
Click on headline for revelations only the history sleuth JIM could uncover.

By JIM

A strongly worded editorial in the June 30, 1909 edition of the Adair County News came down hard on the danger of drink.

The piece opened by stating the prohibition movement had by then been on for several years and "the country is steadily drying." However (isn't there forever a "however" to suck the joy and sunshine?), that comment segued into a stern warning about the rise of another dangerous form of drink:


"Coincident with this movement the introduction of soft drinks took a rapid growth and at this date Coca Cola, Ginger Ale, Lemon Sour and the dew drops from many other flavors may be enjoyed at nearly every store in the entire country...." (Does anyone else remember hearing Lemon Sour & the Dew Drops perform at the Golden Horseshoe one long ago Saturday night?)

So let me get this straight: the country was going alcohol-dry by degrees and soft drink sales were surging. That last part is a good thing, no? Well, actually, no:

"The force behind the temperance move has pressed its cause on the ground that intoxicants are dangerous and destructive...but to be plain it appears that there is danger lurking in the tight bottles of flavored water loaded with gas."

As concrete examples of this deadly, insidious menace, the piece noted, "Within the last few days there have been two coca cola (sic) explosions in Columbia and two men were cut by flying glass."

Weaving from that a raveled thread of logic, the News dangled a fear-bomb of dreadful proportion:

"Should thirst be acquired for soft drinks, to the same degree that the sot has for intoxicants, and when too much has been imbibed, the danger of going to pieces is apparent."

Thank goodness those soft drinks never caught on. What carnage they might have wrought. - JIM


This story was posted on 2016-02-14 08:59:59
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