We recently discovered the Imperial War Museum digital archive which is (perhaps surprisingly) crammed with pictures of pubs, beer and brewing.
Here are some of the best shots of ‘everyday life’ on the home front during World War II shared under the terms of their non-commercial license. (Click the ID numbers to go to the IWM website for bigger versions and more info.)
You know the one: a hand wrapped around a grubby straight-sided pint glass, its contents (London Pride? John Smith’s?) being tipped into the mouth of an anonymous male drinker.
News editors love it, or at least rely on it — here, here, here and here, to point to just a few examples — for illustrating stories about alcohol, negative or positive, regardless of their specific content.
As a result, for some commentators, its repeated usage has become a symbol of the problem with mass media’s approach to beer:
Rage at news story offset by rage at seeing that awful dirty pint glass stock photo again: http://t.co/iDBNvl1jBm
For our part, we’ve become more fascinated with each repetition. Are there really no other pictures of beer in the stock libraries? Or, as some have suggested, are editors now just using it to troll grumpy beer geeks? And — because we always ask this question eventually — what is the story behind the picture?