59 Barrels of Rye on the Wall, 59 Barrels of Rye….
Gauged & Inspected. Philadelphia: Lafourcade, 1831.
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Appointed by the Governor, the Philadelphia Whiskey Inspector was responsible for proofing all whiskey that moved in or out of the region. Like beef, butter, and grain, whiskey was checked in order to maintain a safe and reliable product. The contents of barrels were proofed using a hydrometer graduated according to laws set by the state (How’d they do it? At 60 degrees F, whiskey has a specific gravity of 9335 vs. water at 10000). Contents above or below proof were noted and each barrel was branded by the inspector with the proof and the number of actual gallons therein.