A half circle of male figures beginning with Step 1. “A glass with a Friend” up and over semi-circle to Step 9 “Death by suicide.” Half circle bottom center with an image of a weeping woman walking with a child.
Steps: 1. A glass with a Friend 2. A glass to keep the cold out 3. A glass too much 4. Drunk and riotous 5. The Summit attained Jolly Companions A confirmed Drunkard 6. Poverty and Disease 7. Forsaken by Friends 8. Desperation and crime 9. Death by suicide
Currier & Ives produced at least thirty prints that discussed the Temperance Movement, an organized effort to encourage moderation or abstinence from alcoholic beverages. New York established a temperance union in 1808 and by 1830, 6,000 temperance groups had been established throughout the United States. The movement addressed the effects of uncontrolled drinking, almost always by men, on the people in their lives, especially their wives and children. In this print, the man is shown through nine periods in his life. At the beginning, he shares a drink with a friend. His life deteriorates as he consumes more and more alcohol and he finally ends his life due to the problems brought on by drinking. His wife and child, seen in the middle of the arch, weep as they walk away from their burning home. These types of prints were especially popular with women and those working to improve the moral climate of the country.