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  1. #11
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Whiskey in the Old West

    Verisimilitude: The quality of appearing to be true or real.

    Deadwood does a good job, but verisimilitude is often achieved by catering to what people have been conditioned to expect, rather than to true accuracy.

    The Deadwood TV series begins in 1876 and moves forward from there. At that time, most whiskey would have still come in by the barrel, but bottled whiskey would not have been unknown. Especially in a gold-mining boom town like Deadwood, bottled whiskey is exactly the kind of luxury good that would have been available for a price.

    However, the show tends to give us what appears to be a bottled product, with a paper label on it, in almost every instance, which probably is not accurate. Ceramic jugs probably would have been more common in reality than they are on the show. A character like Jane, for example, who is drinking the cheapest thing she can find, probably should be shown drinking from a jug, not a glass bottle.

    The mention of Basil Hayden is either a product placement or a homage by the film maker. Likewise anything that looks like Bulliet, which is based on old apothecary bottles, not old whiskey bottles.

    The problem is not so much that they are showing bottles but that the bottles appear to have paper labels on them. Whiskey was served from bottles but they were "house" bottles that were used like decanters. The Bella Union might have had fancy crystal ones while the Gem would have had what appeared to be plain bottles, but they would not have had any kind of label on them.
    Last edited by cowdery; 01-03-2007 at 14:11.

  2. #12
    Enthusiast
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    Re: Whiskey in the Old West

    Kudos to Deadwood---The only place on T.V other than J.R. Ewing's office you can drink whiskey before breakfast.

  3. #13
    Enthusiast
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    Aug 2005
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    Re: Whiskey in the Old West

    Having Chuck around always brightens my day. Thank you sir for the info!
    --Mark

    When I drink whiskey, I drink whiskey; and when I drink water, I drink water.

  4. #14
    Disciple
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    Post Re: Whiskey in the Old West

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    Verisimilitude: The quality of appearing to be true or real.

    Deadwood does a good job, but verisimilitude is often achieved by catering to what people have been conditioned to expect, rather than to true accuracy.

    The Deadwood TV series begins in 1876 and moves forward from there. At that time, most whiskey would have still come in by the barrel, but bottled whiskey would not have been unknown. Especially in a gold-mining boom town like Deadwood, bottled whiskey is exactly the kind of luxury good that would have been available for a price.

    However, the show tends to give us what appears to be a bottled product, with a paper label on it, in almost every instance, which probably is not accurate. Ceramic jugs probably would have been more common in reality than they are on the show. A character like Jane, for example, who is drinking the cheapest thing she can find, probably should be shown drinking from a jug, not a glass bottle.

    The mention of Basil Hayden is either a product placement or a homage by the film maker. Likewise anything that looks like Bulliet, which is based on old apothecary bottles, not old whiskey bottles.

    The problem is not so much that they are showing bottles but that the bottles appear to have paper labels on them. Whiskey was served from bottles but they were "house" bottles that were used like decanters. The Bella Union might have had fancy crystal ones while the Gem would have had what appeared to be plain bottles, but they would not have had any kind of label on them.
    I am sure Chuck is right about the Label bussiness as They did not label till the early 1930's after Proibition I think, I collect old Whiskey bottles and the early bottled Whiskeys were embossed bottles. After the bottle in bond act is when they started thinking Labels I would guess! The whole label stuff started way later and then they started to put all the dates and seals and aging dates stuff then. I saw a old 1892 Kinsey bottle at a history place about a week ago and it was as the ones I have collected Embossed
    Dave Z

  5. #15
    Virtuoso
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    Apr 2005
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    Re: Whiskey in the Old West

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    Verisimilitude: The quality of appearing to be true or real.
    Is that similar to truthiness ?

  6. #16
    Guru
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    Nov 2006
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    Re: Whiskey in the Old West

    The link I provided earlier details some of the historical inaccuracies and describes some of the characters as being composites of several real people. As for the whiskey bottles Mr. Cowdery confirmed what I long suspected "about many westerns". This inaccuracy I can forgive. But with regard to whiskey on Deadwood as well as many other movies and TV programs I find the portrayal of many drinking feats to be absurd. Shot after shot after shot.....sometimes literally chugging right from the bottle.
    Anytime I have ever witnessed such things in real life, usually the result of youthful stupidity, the person ends up yacking or past out on the floor!

    Having said that I think Deadwood paints a more realistic picture of life in the old west than just about any western from the golden age of Hollywood. Contrast the portrayal of the prostitutes of Deadwood to those of say The Cheyenne Social Club (one of my favorite Jimmy Stewart westerns). I'm sad to see it go. I know it wasn't as popular with many of the older generation because of all the cussing. But until Deadwood came along there hadn't been a honest to God real western on TV since Bonanza.

  7. #17
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    Re: Whiskey in the Old West

    http://store.hbo.com/product/index.j...187&cp=1885651

    It appears they even display watered down whiskey! :-)

 

 

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