WCTU Drinking Fountains

The Women's Christian Temperance Union used many different tactics to curb alcohol consumption in the decades before Prohibition. One of those tactics made some kind of sense: providing public drinking fountains so that clean water was available to everyone, as an alternative to buying a drink at a saloon just because you were thirsty. It didn't affect the saloon business all that much, but it established the public drinking fountain as a common service.

Many of the fountains are still standing 100 years later. Others are being restored. Since they were projects of local chapters, they all look different. Some are works of art! You'll find links to many of the individual fountains and the stories behind them at Metafilter. The fountain shown is in Brockton, Massachusetts.

(Image credit: Flickr user Aaron Knox)


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That is an odd coincidence. Using a phone app that geolocates weird stuff to see I almost went to one of these in Ontario, CA yesterday after visiting Big Bear. We ended up at Tio's Tacos in Riverside instead, and I think we made a good choice. If you don't know it, Google it. You'll be amazed.
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