Title: Last Call
Author: Daniel Okrent
A drunken husband and father was sufficient cause for pain, but many rural and small-town women also had to endure the associated ravages of the early saloon:
the wallet emptied into a bottle;
the job lost or the farmwork left undone;
and, most pitilessly, a scourge that would later in the century be identified by physicians as “syphilis of the innocent” — venereal disease contracted by the wives of drink-sodden husbands who had found something more than liquor lurking in saloons.
Saloons were dark and nasty places, and to the wives of the men inside, they were satanic.
This is a pretty bad picture of saloons and their effect on society. That is not how we picture today’s bars is it? What brought about the change?