Covert drops

4 Mar

Here’s a nineteenth-century forerunner of The Beerbelly:

A member of the Fifth Regiment has invented an appliance, built on the nursing-bottle plan, by the use of which he and his friends regale themselves with cocktails while on parade without exciting the suspicion of their officers. The invention consists of a belt something like a small life-preserver, which, instead of being inflated with air, is filled with a mixture of gin, bitters, sugar and water, and then fastened around the wearer’s waist inside his vest. From this belt is a small rubber tube, long enough to reach to a man on each side the travelling bar and to the two men behind or in front of him. In this way give men are enabled to obtain a suck from the improvised gin-mill, and it is said to be very curious how often the captain of the company has to get behind certain privates and adjust their cartridge-boxes.

— “A Perambulating Bar-Room”, Boston Daily Globe, 19 July 1885, p. 4.

Some unfortunate phrasing in that last clause.

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