This was what you would have had to do in Ontario in 1925, anyway. Deseronto Archives holds a ‘Register of Liquor Sales’ which records sales of alcohol made by local druggist T. L. McCullough between October 16, 1925 and May 31, 1927. Under the terms of the Ontario Temperance Act of 1916, a customer was only allowed to buy alcohol if he or she had obtained a prescription from a doctor who had deemed “intoxicating liquor necessary for the health of his patient”.

The volume has columns for the name of the patient and the prescribing doctor, the quantity of alcohol purchased and its cost. The majority of the sales were for ‘alcohol’ or for spirits: brandy, gin, rum or whiskey. There is also a column for wine, but only four purchases of wine are recorded in the volume; all for communion wine for local churches. Every month, the druggist would return a copy of each page to the Board of License Commissioners for Ontario (the predecessor body to today’s Liquor Control Board of Ontario).

This volume was presented to the Town of Deseronto by Dorothy McCullough.

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