Cocktails, Cars and Chemistry: Delve into the fascinating science and history behind blood alcohol testing!
On from Dec 27 – March 31, 2018
The evolution of blood alcohol testing is a fascinating one. From the first drunk-o-meters to our modern day breathalysers, the development of these road safety devices reveals just as much about the speed of technology as it does about the state of society over the years.
Before 1910, automobiles were still a rare commodity, and drunk driving was treated as a minor offence. But with the increased accessibility and use of cars by the 1920s, driving under the influence became a serious issue in North America. In fact, over half of all fatal car crashes were caused by drunk driving at this time.
That’s when chemists, scientists and doctors began developing the very first blood alcohol testing devices, contraptions that very quickly became essential road safety tools over the next century.
Learn more about the origins of this technology, its complex history, and social impact in our exciting new pop up exhibit, Cocktails, Cars and Chemistry. You’ll get exclusive access to our museum’s rare collection of devices from the 1930s-1980s, the earliest of which used balloons and chemistry to determine the blood alcohol content (BAC) for impaired drivers.
Only on display until March 31, 2018, catch Cocktails, Cars and Chemistry before it dries up!