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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Ninety-Nine Bottles: 1920

Ninety-Nine Bottles: 1920

Washington, D.C., 1920. "Treasury Internal Revenue department." An array of essences, extracts and elixirs being tested for alcohol content at the start of Prohibition. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

It's got legs

Mott's Apple Juice in the upper lefthand corner

Drugs of Choice

I love seeing the variety of concoctions marketed for every imaginable ailment. I've been doing a lot of work with early 20th century newspapers lately, and this is my favorite so far-- after all, it is the "ideal laxative for a Business Man" so you know it's good stuff.

Jamaica Ginger

Looking for Jamaica Ginger -- the infamous "Jake," which in an effort to bypass Treasury testers eventually included neurotoxins.

The Indian Head

Beef, Iron and Wine seemed to need several tastings by the looks of things !

You could own your own bottle!

Here is an example of Dr. Thacher's Liver and Blood Syrup that sold in auction way back in aught-eight (this century!)

If you look very carefully at the bottle in the featured picture above, you can just make out that this ever so talked about bottle is indeed from our new friend Doc Thacher!

He'll cure what ails ya! and only for a mere $1.15 !!!

Use as Directed

This picture reminds me that tamper-proof containers are a fairly recent phenomenon. I'll just bet Liver and Blood Syrup (2nd row from top on the left) was the Viagra of its time.

The Attic of Abstinence

Though I am no poster girl for Temperance, I'd gladly abstain from anything put up in a bottle labeled "Liver and Blood Syrup." Yes, the stuff was probably meant to "protect" the health of one's liver and blood, but still ... (pun intended). Imagine the oppressive summer heat and humidity of Washington inside that room, which looks to me like an attic with a steel roof and, of course, no insulation.

Beef Iron and Wine

Towards the top left of the photo is a bottle of Beef Iron and Wine. It was just this supplement that inspired a certain Sam Beam to name his musical endeavor Iron & Wine. I had no idea their little supplement went back quite this far. Apparently they were able to withstand Prohibition.

Rummaging around

Did you see any Peruna in there?

This reminds me

I need a drink.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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