While reading through the Hamilton Spectator (from 1884), I came across the following story that I thought was quite hilarious. This is just one of many articles that have little purpose other than anecdotal found on the front page of this paper during these early years. Honestly, if you want a good laugh, I recommend finding a microfilm machine somewhere and do some browsing on your own - because nothing says fun like microfiche! The article may be difficult to read the text so I've copied out the article below.
"Ducks on a Bender
Two Tipping Birds who are always on hand when drinks are going round.
New York Sun
One of the attractions of a liquor saloon in East Newark is a pair of Muscovy ducks. A stranger going in would see nothing remarkable about them, except their extraordinary size, but the regular patrons of the saloon know very well what the birds what when they approach with a gentle quack.
They seem not to care what their tipple is. They will gulp down beer or whiskey with equal satisfaction. They nod their heads before drinking, and this, the proprietor of the saloon thinks, is the mode of indication that the libation is dedication to the health of the donor. It is clearly not conducive to their own, for after two or three repetitions of the social draught, their eyes assume a foggy, faraway expression, and they rub their heads with increasing fervor and affection against the legs of the customers.
From the drunkenness of affection they pass to the drunkenness of hilarity. They waddle staggeringly around the saloon, quacking out jokes which, through not wholly intelligible, furnish the bystanders with a good deal of fun. Men who would not by any means offer one of their friends a second glass of liquor, open their hearts and pockets and minister to the vices of these dissipated ducks, until the drunkenness of pugnacity, and, with gaping beaks and uncertain feet, they strive, ineffectually, to injure each other.
Finally the intoxicated ducks, ceasing to afford amusement, are carried away and put to bed. Formerly their couch was on the grass in the back yard, but one day a large cat found them there, and was so astonished at his good luck that she hesitated before settling down to work. The delay destroyed her chance. She was seen, and only hard climbing saved her from being brained with an empty bottle. Since that time the ducks have been allowed to leap off their spree in the cellar.
"Kill them at last!" exclaimed the proprietor, when this possibility was suggested to him. "Well, maybe so; but they've been five years at it, and it doesn't seem to have done them much harm yet. I think if their liquor was stopped they would not live long: but I don't intend to try it. I have has offers of a good deal of money for those ducks. You see they're seasoned, and a Frenchman told me once, that, though their principal drinks are only beer and whiskey, they much have become so mellowed with alcohol that they would be just as good as ducks stewed in champagne. But dollars and cents can't buy them."