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Oh, doctor…?


There is a backstory. Visiting New York, Churchill made the classic Brit/Yank mistake and looked the wrong way as he stepped into the street. He was hit by a car and hospitalized.

He needed the prescription because this was during Prohibition. How often doctors prescribed booze and where you got it if you had a scrip, I do not know. The notation at the top left, cropped in half, reads “keep on hand” — so perhaps he was to carry it to restaurants, who were allowed to dispense. Hard to see how that might work, though.

I do know that 250cc is upward of eight ounces. Minimum.


Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: April 14, 2016, 10:22 pm

Hah! Well now I know how to respond to the anti sugar tyrants who want to take sugar away from us. I’ll get a Dr’s rx that says I need sugar to live. Without it I’d be dead. Seriously.

Comment from AliceH
Time: April 14, 2016, 11:59 pm

Not sure, but I kind of remember reading that he’d brought a lot of alcohol with him, and was worried about keeping it low profile enough to not cause a pr problem. He and FDR would drink every night of his stay in the WH, and Eleanor hated it – Churchill ‘s stamina for late hours, smoking, drinking were well beyond Roosevelt’s, and only one of them woke up with a hangover every morning.

It was in Manchester’s biography somewhere.

Comment from Nina
Time: April 15, 2016, 4:01 am

There’s a way around just about everything!

Comment from Scott Jacobs
Time: April 15, 2016, 4:50 am

Doctors wrote thousands and thousands (maybe tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands) of such prescriptions. Sometimes legit, sometimes in exchange for cash. You took your script and went to the local pharmacy and got your medicinal whiskey. It was the one was that hard liquor could legally be sold for consumption (you could denature it for rubbing alcohol and such, or for aftershave, etc). The Ken Burns documentary Prohibition is filled with this sorta info. Episode two I think it was.

Comment from OldFert
Time: April 15, 2016, 7:01 pm

“Post-accident convalescence.” Sure. Medical Marijuana of its day, huh?

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: April 15, 2016, 7:07 pm

Considering all the booze he put away, I think cutting him off would have been unhealthy.

I use to work in OR and I remember being delivered two I bottles (that tells you how long ago it was — bottles not bags) of normal saline w/20% alcohol. I thought it was a joke. But the anesthetist said it was to keep the patient from going into DTs during surgery.

Anyway, just heard they arrested 5 terrorists in the UK. 🙁

Comment from AliceH
Time: April 15, 2016, 7:24 pm

I’m still trying to get my head around the government regulations for denaturing alcohol, which directly led to an estimated 10,000 deaths. In the name of public health,no less.

Less deadly but equally scummy are the “red” diesel rules which I only just learned of. Sure, home heating diesel can fuel your vehicle, but then you’d not be paying the extortionate but politically more acceptable “gas” taxes. Thugs.

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