In the early 19th century, Americans had inherited a hearty drinking tradition. Many types of alcohol were consumed. One reason for this heavy drinking was attributed to an overabundance of corn on the western frontier, which encouraged the widespread production of cheap whiskey.
It was at this time that alcohol became an important part of the American diet. In the 1820s, Americans drank seven gallons of alcohol per person annually.
Later in the nineteenth century opposition to alcohol grew in the form of the temperance movement, culminating in Prohibition in the United States from 1920 to 1933.
Heavy drinking is a habit that can creep up or develop as a result of lifestyle choices, such as work, friends, and activities. But most heavy drinkers choose to quit at some point, either on their own or with the help of a treatment or self-help program.
Here below is a vintage photo set that shows the ways people have been drinking since the mid-20th century.