Thursday, March 6, 1828
Vol. I, No. 3
Page 1, col. 1
LAKE OF ARDENT SPIRITS
Mr. Editor- In recently turning over the pages of a Magazine printed in the year 1813, my attention was attracted by a calculation of the amount of ardent spirits consumed in the United States in the year 1810. This amount is stated at 33,365,-529 [sic] gallons. The estimate appears to have been made on well established grounds. After making his statement the writer adds the following mathematical calculations.
The quantity which the year 1828 will consume would doubtless fill a lake much larger still. W.
Now 33,365,529 gallons, is 248,932 hogsheads, (at more than 134 gallons the hogshead,) which supposing one team to carry two hogsheads, would load 124,466 waggons [sic]. These, allowing only three rods for each team, would reach more than 1,166 miles, or nearly the whole length of the United States, from north to south! The number of hogsheads necessary to contain the liquor, must, upon a moderate computation cost 600,000 dollars, and would, if placed so as to touch each other, reach more than 178 miles, exceeding by 48, the whole length of Massachusetts Proper, on the northern line. Or, to present the subject in another light, the quantity of ardent distilled spirits, which is annually drunk in the United States, is sufficient to fill a canal 42 miles long, 10 feet wide, and 2 feet deep; affording convenient navigation for boats of several tons burthen [sic]! The same quantity if brought together, would form a pond more than 68 rods long, 40 rods broad, and six feet deep, covering an area of 17 acres.