Gary North and Beer

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Writes Gary North: “Brad Edmonds writes: ‘Study the history of beer yourself – you’ll know more about economics, history, and even your own family, and you’ll live better as a result.’

“He is even closer to the truth than he thinks.

“I studied economic history with Herbert Heaton in 1966. He was an old man by the time he taught me in grad school — probably in his eighties. He was still sharp as a tack. If Arnold Toynbee (the uncle) is the founder of modern economic history, then Heaton was one of the second-generation pioneers.

“He told us of his experience in the British museum after WWII. He would go to the card catalogue, jot down archived papers he wanted to read, and take this to the desk. Again and again, the reply was: “No longer available.”

“A Nazi bomb in 1940 had hit the archives section. It destroyed centuries of documentation.

“It turned out that some brewries along the Themes had escaped. So, he went to them to see if he could get access to archives. No one had ever asked. He was allowed to go through the files. Here, he found prices for the grains used in beer production. They provided his continuous series of prices in the late 18th century through the early Industrial Revolution.”

6:55 pm on January 9, 2006