|WikiProject United States / American Old West||(Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)|
|WikiProject Food and drink|
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Saloon as latrine
"Because a copious amount of alcohol was consumed, many cowboys would urinate right at the bar. The bar rail was attached to the bar so that cowboys could keep their boots out of the "soggy" ground as many of them would urinate while still sitting at the bar."
And here I thought it was just a place to keep your feet while sitting on a tall stool. Before I decide to start using the bar rail at my local watering hole for the purpose cited here, I would love to see some references for the claim. My barkeep thanks you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 126.96.36.199 (talk) 18:31, 27 November 2011 (UTC)
I agree. For one thing, men stood at the bar in those days, as they still do in the UK. Bar stools were a later invention. The brass rail was used to rest the feet, one then the other, while standing at the bar. This is still the case in pubs with stand-up bars. Possibly there were some very low saloons where urinating on the bar was permitted, but I very much doubt it was common. I've never read a reference to this practice in any historical account of taverns and saloons. Tim in Canada. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.8.131.52 (talk) 03:02, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
The term "saloon" definitely did not refer just to bars in the American or Canadian west. The term was used in the 19th and early 20th centuries, up to about the time of Prohibition, to refer to any bar and was common enough in the eastern towns and cities as well. The term is common in newspaper accounts of the time. The Anti-Saloon League did not aim its efforts just at bars in the American west. Tim in Canada — Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.108.40.206 (talk) 02:57, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
- That's true, but this article is specifically about the historic Western style. Ntsimp (talk) 04:20, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
I came to this article to check more about the phenomena of saloons in the 1800's after watching Ken Burn's Prohibition. It seems like it wasn't exclusively a western phenomena, with large number of saloons in any town over the size of 5,000 to 10,000.
I'd also be particularly interested in learning about how different immigrant groups such as Germans influenced the drink selection in these saloons. It seems like beer began to replace whiskey and other hard liquors as more immigrants arrived and started up brewing companies. However, I'd need to find some sources to support this and include it into the article. But because the focus of this article is in the 1800's, I believe that more expansion for this time period on the history of growth and style of saloons should be emphasized.
One additional thing that I think should be included is the role that saloon's played in the prohibition, and how women's advocates such as Frances Willard (suffragist) advocated against these establishments. I can think of a lot of good additions on this aspect, so maybe I'll look around for some good articles to integrate into this page. Shaded0 (talk) 20:57, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
- They certainly weren't a Frontier-only phenomenon. Breweries also depended on availability of grain and the like, and it was much easier from a profit margin point of view to water down bad whiskey... Intothatdarkness 21:12, 2 November 2012 (UTC)