Boxes containing Canberra’s first shipment of the demon drink after prohibition ends. Image Credit: National Archives of Australia.
by James Cameron,
On 22 December, 1910, new liquor licenses were banned in the Australian Capital Territory, and a 17 year dry spell for the capital began.
Shortly after the creation of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), which is now the ACT, the then-Minister of State for Home Affairs, King O’Malley, proposed that liquor sales be banned.
It became the very first ordinance passed in the new territory. “O’Malley was a quite influential figure in the early days of Canberra,” says Amy Lay, a curator at the National Archives of Australia. “He lobbied hard to keep alcohol out of the FCT, believing that it had a depressing influence”.
At the time the Cricketers’ Arms Hotel (which is now gone) was the territory’s only pub and so slid under this new set of rules.
Canberra’s prohibition wasn’t very effective The new rules wouldn’t stop the thirsty capital for long. “The laws only prevented the granting of liquor licenses in the ACT.
So you couldn’t get a license to open a bar, but you could bring alcohol into the ACT and drink it there,” Amy explains.
“There was nothing to stop someone from heading across the border to New South Wales to buy or drink alcohol,” says Amy. Workers, she says, simply saved up their thirst for a big night in the town of Queanbeyan, which was just across the border.
There was also no reason thirsty punters couldn’t just bring alcohol back. By 1927 the transport of liquor into Canberra had become so common that local guidebooks like A Descriptive guide to Canberra explained how to move liquor across the border.
“[This] guide to Canberra for workers moving there, explicitly states that one could simply drive over to Queanbeyan, fill their boot with grog and drive it back into Canberra for drinking,” Amy says.
Interestingly this ban was finally brought to an end by thirsty pollies. In June 1926 the Joint House Committee passed a resolution to allow the construction of a bar in Parliament House.
Members of parliament were deeply divided by this, some pollies announcing they would boycott the bar until the locals could drink at an establishment too. Outraged locals, who were still under prohibition, finally forced the issue.
A plebiscite took place on 1 September 1928, resulting in the removal of the prohibition.
The finger pads of a person with adermatoglyphia are entirely smooth. (Photo by Sprecher et. al.S)
by Joseph Stromberg, Smithsonian.com
In 2007, dermatologist Peter Itin was contacted by a Swiss woman with an unusual quandry:
She was having trouble entering the U.S. because she had no fingerprints. Regulations require all non-residents to be fingerprinted when they enter the country, and the authorities were baffled when the woman said that she simply hadn’t been born with any.
Fingerprints and Friction
When Peter Itin looked into the case, he found that eight other members of the woman’s extended family also had been born printless.
Ultimately, working with Israeli dermatologist Eli Sprecher and other colleagues,
Itin tracked down three other unrelated families that included people with adermatoglyphia, which they dubbed “immigration delay disease,” and successfully located the single gene mutation responsible in 2011.
“It’s an exceedingly rare condition,” says Sprecher, who’s one of just a handful of doctors worldwide to have dealt with the disease firsthand. “Generally, from the movies, we only hear of criminals who try to get their fingerprints removed, and no one’s heard of this disease, so I think that’s why border control authorities have found it so troubling.”
The finger pads of people with adermatoglyphia are entirely flat—they have none of the arching or looping ridges that characterize the fingerprints of virtually all humans. Otherwise, though, people with the condition are entirely healthy, minus a slightly reduced number of sweat glands.
There are other genetic disorders (including NFJS and dermatopathia pigmentosa reticularis) that lead to missing fingerprints, but they also cause much more severe health impacts, such as thin, brittle hair and teeth.
For Sprecher and Itin, the fact that an entirely-healthy person could be somehow born without fingerprints presented a puzzle.
After finding the three other groups of related people with the same condition, they suspected that it had a genetic cause.
Richard Freiherr von Krafft-Ebing (1840-1902) was a German-Austrian psychiatrist and early sexologist, whose book Psychopathia Sexualis: eine Klinisch-Forensische Studie, first published in 1886 (and translated into English in 1892), became a great influence within the emerging study of sexology.
The book, which Krafft-Ebing continued to expand throughout twelve editions until his death, is a scientific study of sexual deviation consisting of over 200 case studies.
Intended for the use of physicians, psychiatrists and judges (and written partly in Latin in order to discourage the general public from reading it), the book explores fetishism, sadism, masochism and homosexuality, as well as nymphomania, necrophilia, and incest.
For Krafft-Ebing, any desire for sex unrelated to procreation was a deviation from the heterosexual norm, making, for example, gay sex a “perversion” of the sexual instinct.
The photographs featured here are part of Krafft-Ebing’s personal collection.
It is unknown where they came from or who the people featured in the photographs are, although, at least the first two photographs appear to be unusual specimens of the “French postcard” which was so popular in the late-19th century.
One assumes the photographs are linked to Krafft-Ebing’s studies, but as for how or where they were produced and procured is a mystery.
Wound Man image from Claudius (Pseudo) Galen’s Anathomia – Source: Wellcome Library, London.
This figure, from a 15th century English anatomical manuscript, is an example of a ‘wound man’.
Figures like these can be found in a number of manuscripts and printed books produced in the 15th and 16th centuries.
This particular version is folio 53 verso from Anathomia by Claudius (Pseudo) Galen. It is captioned in Latin and the words do not provide any directions for treatment but merely describe the injury: for example, ‘penetration by a sword’ or ‘an arrow whose point has remained in the thigh’.
The weapons are shown as they pierce the body and here, the positions of the man’s internal organs are indicated.
The exact purpose of the wound man image is not known, but it might have served as a reminder of the injuries to which the human body is prone.
These typically range from blows to the head, to stab wounds and arrow piercings, sometimes even showing dogs or snakes biting the legs.