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Faces along the Bar

Lore and Order in the Workingman’s Saloon, 1870-1920

In this lively and engaging history, Madelon Powers recreates the daily life of the barroom, exploring what it was like to be a "regular" in the old-time saloon of pre-prohibition industrial America. Through an examination of saloongoers across America, her investigation offers a fascinating look at rich lore of the barroom—its many games, stories, songs, free lunch customs, and especially its elaborate system of drinking rituals that have been passed on for decades.

"A free-pouring blend of astonishing facts, folklore and firsthand period observations. . . . It’s the rich details that’ll inspire the casual reader to drink deep from this tap of knowledge."—Don Waller, USA Today recommended reading

"A surprise on every page."—Publishers Weekly

"Here we get social history that appreciates the bar talk even while dissecting its marvelous rituals."—Library Journal, starred review

"Careful scholarship with an anecdotal flair to please even the most sober of readers."—Nina C. Ayoub, Chronicle of Higher Education

331 pages | 15 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 1998

Historical Studies of Urban America

History: General History, Urban History

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Pt. I: The Criteria for Comradeship
1: The Importance of Being Regular
2: Gender, Age, and Marital Status
3: Occupation, Ethnicity, and Neighborhood
Pt. II: The Gentle Art of Clubbing
4: Drinking Folkways
5: Clubbing by Treat
6: Clubbing by Collection
Pt. III: More Lore of the Barroom
7: Games and Gambling
8: Talk and Storytelling
9: Songs and Singing
10: The Free Lunch

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