'L'Alcool Voila L'Ennemi', c 1910.
© David Nathan-Maister / Science & Society Picture Library
Poster designed by Frederic Christol (1850-1933), printed by Berger & Levrault, Nancy. It was used as the frontispiece of Achille MElandri's book 'L'Etoile bleue - Absinthe, Vermouth, Bitter & Cie' in 1912. Wine, beer and cider are expressly omitted from the list of 'Poisons de Choix' (bottom right). These were regarded as natural and healthy, and seldom targeted by the French temperance movement. ('Fine Champagne' is cognac.) The text at bottom left reads: 'Omnibus pour Charenton!! Avec correspondence par l'alcool, Ou directement avec l'absinthe'. Charenton was the insane asylum outside Paris, and a popular nickname for an absinthe was 'Un Omnibus pour Charenton', because of the number of absinthe-soaked alcoholics who ended up there.