The anti-drinking PSAs of the vaudeville era were gorgeously morbid

Illustration for article titled The anti-drinking PSAs of the vaudeville era were gorgeously morbid

What you're seeing here are photographs from an early 1900s theatrical production about the mortal peril of tippling and consorting with card players. Look at Death in those pictures below. He loves getting hammered! Just check out his party face in the second-to-last snapshot! As the Historical Ziegfeld Group explains of these scenes:

In 1906 The Journal of the English Folk Song Society published a piece on the old English ballad "Death and the Lady." Some enterprising female entertainer encountered the article and realized the story might be used as a great vaudeville piece about the evils of card play and alcohol [...] Here Joseph Hall, the Brooklyn born photographer who had made a career on baseball pictures and theatrical production stills, captured the sequence of the action, providing a peculiarly detailed & rare view of the progress of a single vaudeville performance.

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Illustration for article titled The anti-drinking PSAs of the vaudeville era were gorgeously morbid
Illustration for article titled The anti-drinking PSAs of the vaudeville era were gorgeously morbid
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Illustration for article titled The anti-drinking PSAs of the vaudeville era were gorgeously morbid
Illustration for article titled The anti-drinking PSAs of the vaudeville era were gorgeously morbid
Illustration for article titled The anti-drinking PSAs of the vaudeville era were gorgeously morbid
Illustration for article titled The anti-drinking PSAs of the vaudeville era were gorgeously morbid
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[Via Morbid Anatomy]

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DISCUSSION

yankton
Yankton, née Spacemonkey Mafia

I like these pictures because other than just being awesome, you can easily switch the narrative to imply that if you over-indulge in drinks and cards, you will be forever bothered by a woman with a large bodice who will drink your wine and steal your boyfriend.

...Poor death. Just wanted an evening alone with a jug of Rossi.