The ether/methanol drinking thread

3 posts


Ethyl alcohol is not the only liquid inebriant that has been historically consumed. In the past, aristocrats of certain social circles had a penchant for imbibing ether (more formally known as diethyl ether , the laboratory solvent and erstwhile general anesthetic). This substance is most likely encountered today in the form of engine starter fluid (however, drinking or 'huffing' this is not recommended, because in addition to ether it contains petroleum distillates).

"Ether-smelling" parties were frequently organized whereby a cloth or cotton swab saturated with ether was passed around and guests would inhale the cloth close to their mouth and nose in order to experience the transient euphoria and lightheadedness induced by the ethereal vapour. It was thereafter discovered that swallowing ether in liquid form could produce effects more similar to alcohol. A drinking session may proceed as follows:

Popular Science , vol. 13 of 1878 said the following about ether drinking:

If drinking ether becomes old hat, one can always engage in the next best fad among old timey chemists: ingestion of 'methylic spirits'.

From Gentleman's Magazine , vol 245 of 1878:

Today, it is "recognized" that even small quantities of methanol can be metabolized into sufficient formic acid to destroy the optic nerve, causing blindless, to cause brain damage, or to kill (viz. the Pärnu methanol tragedy ), but evidently someone forgot to forward the link to these hardy 19th century lushes.

Ix , Member 13
The Illuminati
The Illuminati

And while we are at it.... enjoy a nice plum brandy? That nutty character that only the best have is Cyanide.