Your Temperance Temperature in 1790

Can you measure your moral and physical health by reviewing what you imbibe? At least one eighteenth-century doctor thought so.

In 1790 Dr. Benjamin Rush, Founding Father, Surgeon General for the Continental Army during the Revolution, and later professor at the University of Pennsylvania, published An Inquiry into the Effects of Spirituous Liquors on the Human Body and the Mind. He included this thermometer to help his readers gauge their level of health through their drinking habits. Cider comes in midway up the temperance side of the thermometer, too low to engender happiness but high enough to cause cheerfulness.

Temperance Theremometer

What’s your temperature?


For more Temperance art, check out this 1838 temperance map which suggested that cider was a gateway drink to harder beverages.

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