The photographs illustrate drunkenness in five stages, played by a male subject in a studio.
Possibly commissioned by a local temperance group for educative purposes, the photographs may also have been used by an engraver for illustrations. The penultimate frame of the drunk in a wheelbarrow resembles S.T. Gill’s watercolour ‘Ease without Opulence’, 1863.
In 1866, NSW Premier James Martin introduced the Drunkard’s Punishment Bill.