Kathleen King presented the first lecture of a Lunch ‘n Learn series by the St. Thomas University Society for History. The STUSH president talked about the relationship of alcohol and industrialization, nationalism and gender.
King said the society chose the topic because alcohol has always been an important part of different cultures. It’s also a way to get students interested in social history by applying it to abstract historical concepts.
“I think a lot of times, people stay away from history, because they see it just about dates and big ideas. I think it’s something tangible that students can actually think about,” King said.
“I think it just shows that history doesn’t have to be boring.”
And here are three stupendous facts about alcohol:
Wine is good for you
After the great depression in France in the 1930s, France made it a “patriotic duty” to drink wine to stimulate the economy and create new jobs. French citizens were told drinking wine was something very natural for them. Children had wine for lunch and advertisers claimed water drinkers reached an average age of 59, while wine drinkers averaged at 65.
The Egyptian brewery
The Egyptians made their own beer. They thought it distinguished them from savages. It became religiously and spiritually important. Brewers added spices and sugar to create different types. In fact, there were 17 different flavours of beer in Ancient Egypt.
A heavenly liquid
In the age when beer drinking was still new and people hunted and gathered their dinner, they started storing grains. They made a thick gruel which on many occasions went fuzzy due to the lack of airtight storage containers. Drinking fuzzy gruel was intoxicating or, to say it in their words, “A heavenly liquid.”
STUSH is planning more lectures for next semester.