Whiskey and Nascar

Whiskey and Nascar

I’m from the northeast and was not really aware of Nascar until my teenage years because it just wasn’t really watched by anyone I knew.  I couldn’t understand what made it such a big deal until I learned to drive and realized very quickly that going fast wasn’t easy. I remember reading in high school that Prohibition and moonshining were big influences on racecar driving.  Of course, I also learned that the first car race was in 1895 in Chicago…so basically the minute that an engine was mounted to a carriage, racing them was the obvious next step.  The every man’s car, Ford’s model T, rolled off the lines a little over a decade later.  It was the first time that normal folks could afford to own a car, and they began to tinker with them and figure out how every...

Hip Flasks

Hip Flasks

I bought myself a porcelain hip flask and it got me to thinking about the history of these ingenious devices. The flask is the descendant of the canteen and, even older, the pilgrim bottle of medieval times (associated with the pilgrimages to the holy land, it was flat on one side and round on the other with loops around the neck to allow for a strap). European travelers in the middle ages once carried hollow gourds, leather bags or animal bladders that would serve as a canteen. It’s believed that the first flasks were used by Norwegian nomads that needed to keep warm on long journeys. The hip flask, as we would recognize it today, was most likely designed in the early 1800s. In the early 19th century, glass blowing techniques were being used to create individual...