Held at: The Historical and Interpretive Collections of The Franklin Institute [Contact Us]222 N 20th St, Philadelphia, PA, 19103
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the The Historical and Interpretive Collections of The Franklin Institute. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
The American Temperance Society, also known as the American Society for the Promotion of Temperance, was established in 1826 in Boston, Massachusetts. It was the first formal national temperance movement in the United States. Within ten years, there were more than 1.5 million people who had joined the group and taken a pledge to abstain from drinking distilled spirits. The organization initially did not call for abstention from drinking beer or wine, but gradually it promoted abstaining from all alcoholic beverages and eventually pushed for prohibition legislation at the federal level. The American Temperance Society and other temperance movements would hold events and write literature warning people of the dangers of alcohol. As photographic images became more popular, several temperance societies held lantern slide shows to get their points across.
In 1920, the United States Constitution's eighteenth amendment went into effect, prohibiting the production, transport, and sale of alcohol in the United States. The National Prohibition Act of 1919, known as the Volstead Act, outlined how to enforce the amendment. The amendment was repealed and the Volstead Act voided in 1933 by the ratification of the twenty-first amendment. An inventory is available on-site.
American Temperance Society lantern slides, circa 1880-1920, consist of approximately ninety lantern slides, including slides that depict the sad stories of those who give in to the temptation of drinking alcohol, as well as slides of temperance related poems, sheet music, and cartoons. Many of the stories and other slides were intended to inspire guilt among those feeling tempted by alcohol.
A majority of the slides illustrate various stories warning people about the dangers of drinking alcohol. There are nine stories depicted in this collection, including The Bottle, The Drunkard's Daughter, Where is My Boy Tonight, The Frolic, William Jackson's Treat, Drunkard's Stomach, Drunkard's Children, Ten Nights in a Bar Room, and the Trial of Sir Jasper. The number of slides for each story ranges between four and twenty-three slides. Additionally in the collection, there are slides with songs, poems, and cartoons, some of which are meant to inspire feelings of guilt among the tempted and some of which are meant to be uplifting and helpful to those who are struggling.
Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2014-2016 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.
In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact The Historical and Interpretive Collections of The Franklin Institute directly for more information.
- The Historical and Interpretive Collections of The Franklin Institute
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Sarah Leu and Anastasia Matijkiw through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
- This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
- Access Restrictions
Contact The Historical and Interpretive Collections of The Franklin Institute for information about accessing this collection.