Union Square Drinking Fountain


One of the favorite projects of temperance advocates during the nineteenth century was to erect fountains throughout the city (such as the one on the base of this statue) so that residents would have easy access to drinking water, and so be less inclined to guzzle alcohol. Before New York acquired a reliable water supply from upstate New York in the 1830s, drinking alcohol made it less likely that you would (literally) die of thirst - i.e., of the results of quenching your thirst  with contaminated water.

Other Drinking Fountains