Black and white print of the lavishly decorated “Gem Saloon,” known for containing the city's largest mirror. The top of the mirror features a large eagle. The “Gem Saloon” was located in a hotel on the corner of Broadway and Anthony (now Worth Street) in New York City. Mayor Fernando Wood and eleven male politicians and businessmen are depicted drinking and conversing along with two bartenders and a dog. The title refers to the debate that was raging over the regulation of alcohol and a temperance movement that was launched in 1850 by the mayor of Portland, Maine in 1850. The Maine state bill forbid all alcoholic purchases except for "medicinal, mechanical or manufacturing purposes", resulting in an increase of alcoholic “quackery” medicines. Several other cities and states followed Maine’s example in legislation. In New York liquor law was passed in 1854 but vetoed by Governor Horatio Seymour. Then in 1855, with a new administration, the "Maine Law" was passed in New York, though it was never strictly enforced.
Augustus Fay was an engraver, lithographer and illustrator born in New York in 1824. He was active as an engraver in New York City 1848-1860, and as a lithographer in Hoboken, New Jersey and in New York in the 1850s.
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