Vintage: Prohibition in Boston (1920s)

Vintage: Prohibition in Boston (1920s)


Prohibition in the United States was a national ban on the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol, in place from 1920 to 1933. The ban was mandated by the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, and the Volstead Act set down the rules for enforcing the ban and defined the types of alcoholic beverages that were prohibited. Prohibition ended with the ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment, which repealed the Eighteenth Amendment, on December 5, 1933.

The introduction of alcohol prohibition and its subsequent enforcement in law was a hotly debated issue. The contemporary prohibitionists (“dries”) labeled this as the “Noble Experiment” and presented it as a victory for public morals and health. The consumption of alcohol overall went down by half in the 1920s; and it remained below pre-Prohibition levels until the 1940s.

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Fleet of Rum Chasers in East Boston

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$175,000 in Liquor Seized by Coast Guard

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Speakeasy Raided and Destroyed by Federal Agents

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Ice Covered Rum Chaser

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Superintendent Crowley Inspects a Speakeasy

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Commissioner McSweeny and Superintendent King. Police Headquarters (possibly William E. Payne – Gunsmith / George F. Smith – Handwriting Expert).

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Aerial View of Rum Runners

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Aerial Photo of a Seized Rum Runner

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Newer Fleet of Rum Chasers: General Green & Frederick Lee

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Fleet of Rum Chasers in East Boston

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Captured Rum Runner Brought to the Appraiser’s Stores

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Coast Guard Seizes a Rum Runner

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Fleet of Rum Chasers in East Boston

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Still Raided and Destroyed at Woburn by Federal Agents

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Man Operates Still out of the Back of a Carriage

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Still Explosion Kills Man in Reading

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Boat Suspected of Selling Alcohol is Inspected

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Casks Seized by Police

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Boston Police Liquor Squad

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Officers Dismantle a Speakeasy After Raid

via Boston Public Library


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