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24-03-2016, 06:09
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Random something found in research for something totally unrelated. It's from a French magazine that published translations of English-language articles.

This was first published in Chambers's journal:

"Just because a man is never drunk, it doesn't mean he isn't drinking more than he should. The workers of the large breweries in London, for example, draymen especially, consume a huge amounts of beer. The daily ration from their employer is very large, but it isn't enough. In addition, draymen get a lot of free beer from the customers they deliver barrels to. As a result, it's not unusual for a man to drink 10 to 14 quarts (about 11 to 16 liters); however, they are not drunkards in the ordinary sense of the word. The very nature of their work requires strong men, strength is an essential requiremnt for the trade. But if one of these men is hurt or is forced to go to bed for some other accident, he will almost certainly suffer from delirium tremens; and a head injury is often fatal. Brewery workers are known in hospitals as the worst candidates for operations, as they are predisposed to the most dangerous complications that hinder the success of surgical treatment."
"Revue Britannique, volume 4", 1892, page 115. (Mine and Google's translation.)Barclay Perkins draymen were renowned for being big bastards.Which you'd need to be if you were delivering hogsheads all day. Just as long as they didn't bang their heads on a cellar roof.

Pisshead draymen is a recurring theme. Free beer in every pub being the problem. My mum told me that the ones that delivered beer in Handsworth were always plastered by the end of the day and relied on the horses to take them around their route. But 10 or 14 quarts is a stack of beer. Even if it were just Porter, the cheapest draught beer, it would be at least 5% ABV in the 1890's. Anything else would be stronger.

The article has some good stuff about opium use in late 19th-century Britain, too.

Here's the original French text:

"De ce qu'un homme ne s'est jamais enivré, il ne s'ensuit pas qu'il ne boive pas plus qu'il ne le devrait. Les ouvriers des grandes brasseries de Londres, par exemple, les camionneurs surtout, consomment une quantité de bière énorme. La ration quotidienne que les patrons leur accordent est très forte, mais ils s'en contentent rarement. En outre, les camionneurs en reçoivent beaucoup, ‘a titre gracieux, des clients auxquels ils livrent continuellement des barils. Il en résulte que 10 à 11 quartes (environ 11 à 16 litres) ne sont pas une consommation exceptionnelle pour un homme; cependant, ce ne sont pas des ivrognes dans le sens ordinaire du mot. La nature même de leur travail nécessite l'emploi d'hommes robustes, la force étant une obligation dans le métier. Mais si l'un de ces hommes se casse un membre ou est contraint de s'aliter pour un autre accident quelconque, il est presque sûr d'être atteint de delirium tremens ; et une blessure à la tête est souvent pour lui mortelle. Les ouvriers de brasserie sont connus dans les hôpitaux comme les pires sujets à opérer, prédisposés qu'ils sont aux plus dangereuses complications qui entravent le succès d'un traitement chirurgical."
"Revue Britannique, volume 4", 1892, page 115.

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