Whiskey: An American Pictorial History, by Oscar Getz. New York: David McKay Company, Inc. 1978. Contents, Preface, Postscript, Index, Illustrated, Pp. 207.
This book was written by Oscar Getz with the collaboration of Irv. Bilow to be a companion piece to his whiskey memorabilia collection at the Barton Distillery. This collection went onto be the core of the present day Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History. It is also one of the earliest attempt to tell the story of American distilling in print. The book is interesting and the writing is decent. The real gems of the book are the illustration of items from Getz's collection. Jugs, bottles, photographs, labels, manuscripts and books are all part of this collection and they are shown throughout the book.
The book is telling the history of American Whiskey from the founding of this country through prohibition with only a single chapter dealing with the time after repeal. The history is sometimes well researched and at other times dependent more upon legends and marketing than history.
This book is still a very good one to have in a distilling library. The illustration make it worth having and the timeline chart of the whiskey excise tax is also very handy to have on hand.