In 2014 the Internet Archive uploaded 2 million photos to Flickr. These photos were extracted from the digitized texts of countless historical books, allowing searches on any topic imaginable. We immediately went looking for wine related photos. The archive, as we mentioned, is vast, covering 500 years worth of books, so we limited this post to the turn of the century. Here are some of the amazing images we found.
Pacific Wine And Spirit Review – 1890s
The Pacific Wine And Spirit Review was a trade journal “[d]evoted to viticulture, olive culture, and other productions, manufactures and commerce of the Pacific Coast.” The first issue was published in 1879 and the last on the eve of Prohibition. The images below are from the mid-1890s. They highlight the California wines of the day. You might notice a couple familiar names.
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Of Note: Gundlach Bundschu (Gun Bun), the oldest continuously operated, family owned vineyard in California, was founded by Jacob Gundlach in 1858. We found an obituary to Mr. Gundlach in the Dec 21, 1894 edition of the Pacific Wine And Spirit Review. Read Mr. Gundlach’s obituary.
Revue de Viticulture : Organe de l’agriculture des régions viticoles (1893)
By the 1890s the French wine industry had begun to recover from phylloxera, as the grafting of resistant American rootstock to French vines was gradually accepted. At the same time mechanization was increasing. This combination — hybridized vines and increasingly modern planting, harvesting and production techniques — allowed the industry to grow back to its former size. The ads from this journal reflect both trends.
Of note: An ad for John Deere farming equipment in 121-year-old French winemaking journal!
Welcome To Our City
Welcome To Our City by Julian Street, published circa 1913, takes us on a tour of New York City’s restaurants, theaters, and cabarets. The author, in a lament that would sound familiar to any New Yorker, notes in the preface that the book was already woefully out of date:
Broadway—that over-lighted part of it, of which I write—changes faster than the main street of a mining town. Its festivities, scandals, shootings, shows, celebrities, and above all its favourite resorts, flicker across the surface of the year like moving pictures on a wide-spread sheet. What was written of it last year, last week, or yesterday, cannot be correct to-day, in detail. I therefore attempt nothing more, in the following pages, than a picture of the Spirit of Broadway.
Images galantes et esprit de l’etranger: Berlin, Munich, Vienne, Turin, Londres (1905)
John Grand-Carteret was a French journalist born in 1850. He published dozens of books, including this illustrated tour of Europe, which focused on corruption and immorality. We pulled out three images of men and women enjoying wine & champagne in Vienna. Take a look at the original text to find some of the truly ‘immoral’ images (yes, a book published in 1905 is NSFW).
Bonus Map: ‘Dry’ and ‘Wet’ Cities, Counties & States In The U.S. in 1916 (4 Years Before National Prohibition)