Opium smokers in China, 1840s

Opium smokers in China, 1840s

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Credit: GENERAL RESEARCH DIVISION/NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY/ SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Opium smokers in China. 19th-century artwork of people smoking opium in an opium den in China. Opium is a drug prepared from the opium poppy. The smokers use a pipe to inhale fumes from heated opium. The fumes contain the active alkaloids (such as morphine) that give the addict his high. This artwork is by British architect and illustrator Thomas Allom (1804-1872). It was published in 'China illustrated' (4 volumes, 1843-47) by Anglican clergyman George Newenham Wright.

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