Apr 17, 2018
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I'm writing some Titanic-related fiction and am having trouble finding what stimulants were available in each of the three classes, apart from coffee or tea. We all know there was no shortage of alcohol, but what if a person felt the need for speed?

I see that Coca Cola was NOT available and was just sputtering to life in fountains in the UK in the early 1900s. A few internet searches led me to Schwepps' claim that its beverages were served on board, but I don't know if they had stimulants. On a modern cruise ship my fictional character would risk cardiac arrest by washing down ADD meds with energy drinks and Mountain Dew. It seems everyone on the ship preferred chilling out with strong/large quantity alcohol. What did they do to amp up? Or is that a new thing in our fast-paced world?
 
Nov 14, 2005
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Caffeine, Nicotine and Sugar. Amphetamines were invented in a lab in the late 1800's but did not become commercial until the 1920's/30's. I know during WW1 the british ran low on rations at one point for the troops...their solution was to send cigarettes and lots of coffee/tea to stave off hunger. South American natives have always chewed on coca leaves but that also was for a little energy and to ward off hunger, not to get buzzed. Apart from some of the crew maybe standing the mid-watch I would think most people on the liners wanted to relax and enjoy it, not get all amped up. The main problem from the US Civil War on to the time of Titanic and beyond was opioids. So many of the wounded troops during the civil war got hooked on morphine they didnt know what to do with them. They called it morphinism. What kind of story are you trying to write? Just curious.
 
Apr 17, 2018
5
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New Hampshire
This story started small. It was a quick 5-10 pages for a friend's (large) wedding and then the Pastor took an interest in it and encouraged me if I lengthened and polished it my time wouldn't be wasted. They know I was a Titanic buff since childhood, used to be a newspaper and magazine writer, science & tech nerd... so they came to me.

The groom is the character with the amp-up fixation. Mr. "latest machinery of the world" meets Miss "Do we really need that?"

They wanted Titanic for their wedding but they wanted to be original and their pastor told them it's important to be yourselves on wedding day. They're more realists than romanticists. They and I have been to weddings that may as well have been Titanic sinking so they said "let's just plan mayhem and get married in it!" Both are history buffs and geeks in general --accuracy was as important to them as it is to me, so their guests are going to learn things.

Between their pastor and I we got the idea of "1912-izing" the wedding party and their present-day situations into the story so I had to trace the roots of their 2018 hobbies and interests to 1912 if I could. I was surprised to find that today's stimulant fixation really is a new thing. Coca Cola was my product of choice for Mr. Midnight Oil until I discovered on ET that it wasn't on the ship. I have him drinking a newly-available sampling in Southampton but he boards and finds a choice between coffee, tea, and Schwepps drinks.
 

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