Mr Lettsom’s 1797 Moral Thermometer Measures The Impact of Your Drinking Habits

temperance 1797

ACCORDING to 18th-century physician John Coakley Lettsom’s “moral and physical thermometer”, one of his Hints Designed to Promote Beneficence, Temperance, and Medical Science (1797), drinking gin and water  leads to a life of fighting and rags.

We say that anyone mixing good gin with water deserves the birch.

Mr Lettsom was a more forgiving sort than we at Flashbak Towers. As founding father of the Medical Society of London, he thought a “small beer” has all the virtues of milk and water. But, we’d add, blessedly none of the nasty aftertaste.

Lettsom also published the illustrated version of his moral thermometer.

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Spotter: Rebecca Onion

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