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Five Stages Of Inebriation By Charles Percy Pickering

This photo series shows a model in a studio re-enacting the five stages of inebriation. The shoot, which coincided with the Drunkard Punishment Bill of 1886 in NSW, may have been commissioned by a local temperance group for education purposes.

The photographer Charles Pickering took the propaganda snaps between 1863 and 1868, when society clearly had a problem with alcoholism.

It appears, things have not changed that much since the mid-19th century.

Stage 1: You’ve had a couple and can hold your own. Conversation is flowing and people are interested in what you have to say.

Stage 2: This is the moment you find your groove and you think you're charming the pants off anyone who speaks to you.

Stage 3: You can’t fight the honesty stumbling from your mouth. A few of the more sober people have started to back away or head home. You decide you’re in for the long haul and continue pleasing the crowd with your slurring wit.

Stage 4: Find the nearest wheelbarrow and get in. Although someone should probably push you home, you take a breather and drink on. This is where the night gets wild.

Stage 5: No memory. Somehow you end up in your home, fully clothed, lights on, lying on a pile of kebab meat. But at least you still have your hat on.


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