Beer Drinking in the 1840’s

A meandering path of online curiosity led me to discover this photo. So I decided to share it.

Edinburgh Ale, a photo from David Octavius Hill and his collection of photos from 1843-1847. I’ll let the description on the National Galleries page describe the scene, but these men look very happy with their beer. Maybe they’re on their eighth round, but those ale flutes don’t look like they hold much beer.

Hill was a painter and an early pioneer of photography. And according to many sites, this may be the earliest photo of people drinking beer. Chemical photography wasn’t around for long and most photos were staged because of the complex process. So it makes me wonder if this was somewhat staged or just some dudes enjoying a beer and decided to preserve it for all history.

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