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Bootlegging in 1920 GL

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Gayle Lamptey

on 15 December 2014

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Transcript of Bootlegging in 1920 GL

Bootlegging in the 1920s
by Gayle Lamptey

Bootleg alcohol
Bootleg alcohol was very expensive. Since there was no other place to get it, bootleggers could charge whatever they wanted.
Works Cited
Bondurant, Matt. The Wettest County in the World: A Novel Based on a True Story. Simon and Schuster, 2008. Print.

"bootlegging". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2013. Web. 23 Oct. 2013<http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/73745/bootlegging>.

Haller, M. H. "Bootlegging: The Business and Politics of Violence (From Violence in America, Volume 1: The History of Crime, P 146-162, 1989, Ted Robert Gurr, ed.--See NCJ-119355)." (1989).

Hanson, Erica. A Cultural History of the United States: Through the Decades: The 1920s. San Diego: Lucent Books, Inc, 1999. Print.
Kobler, John. Capone: The life and world of Al Capone. Da Capo Press, 1971

Lawless. Dir. John Hillcoat. Perf. Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Jason Clarke, and Guy Pearce The Weinstein Company, 2012. Film.

Ness, Eliot, and Oscar Fraley. The untouchables. Buccaneer books, 1957.

Prohibtion. Ed. Dennis Nishi. New York: Greenhaven Press, 2003. Print.
“Prohibition.” The History Channel website. 2013. Web. 23 Oct. 2013 <http://www.history.com/topics/prohibition>.

This type of bootlegger smuggled foreign alcohol over the Canadian and Mexican border.

This method was often unsuccessful and took to long, so people started making it themselves.
The Prohibition
On January 16th, 1920 the 18th Amendment, “The Prohibition" was passed.
This Amendment abolished the manufacture, transportation, and sale of liquor, beer, and wine throughout the United States.
From this day forward, any beverage containing 0.5% alcohol or more was considered intoxicating.
This amendment pushed people to create bootleg alcohol and sell it for way above market value.

Home brewers were the most common type of bootlegger.

Home brewers made and sold the liquor themselves.

Most of the home brewing took place on country-sides since it was easier to hide distilleries.

The word bootlegger was used to describe moonshiners who carried liquor to their customers in bottles hidden in their boots.

There were two types of bootleggers:
Home brewers
Home brewers
A bootlegger that made whiskey from sugar, cracked corn, and water. With a 50 gallon still that cost $15, he sold his whiskey for $2 a pint. On average, he made $800 a batch.

Freeman Collins
A pharmacist and lawyer who became a bootlegger in order to make money. He bought a dozen distilleries in Ohio, Kentucky, and Missouri and got a certificate deeming them all for medicinal purposes.
Remus then hired three- thousand employees to steal his legal alcohol, then sell it to other bootleggers and speakeasies.
Before his incarceration, Remus was making over $40 million dollars a year.

George Remus
Ran the biggest bootlegging industry in Chicago during the Prohibition.
Capone’s gang members were called “The Untouchables” because anyone who messed with were found dead or disappeared.
Capone had no problem eliminating anyone who got in his way of dominance and money.
Capone’s business earned $60,000,000 a year.
Al Capone
If you were in support of the Prohibition, you were considered to be a Dry.
"Dry" advertisement
If you were against the Prohibition, you were considered a Wet.
"Wet" advertisement
The rich did not complain about the price so bootleggers tended to like them more. They had good alcohol delivered to their homes.
The rich
The poor drank beer, which was closer to water, or spirits, which were closer to poison.

Some of the poor drank isopropyl, which is rubbing alcohol.
The poor
People would pay doctors to write them a prescription for alcohol for tuberculosis, high blood pressure, and a common cold.
Prescription alcohol
Bootleggers used distilleries hidden in garages, warehouses, tenements, in the woods, and in cellars.

To make the business run faster, you could use coffee makers and bath tubs.
How it was made
These men, and women, made their own alcohol from fruits and vegetables that could be fermented then watered it down.
Since it was watered down, customers needed to buy more than one to feel satisfied. Unfortunately the alcohol was expensive.
What bootleggers did
You could purchase the alcohol at "speakeasies" or "blind pigs".
They were disguised as barber shops, smoke shops, athletic clubs, and paint stores.
In order to get in you required a password.
Where could I buy it
"White Lightning" was the most common type of bootleg alcohol. It's called so because the drinks were clear, and extremely strong.
Prescription alcohol also gained its fame.
Types of alcohol
Both are known as the strongest drinks to come out of the Prohibition.
Jake was made from ginger, and caused health problems such as temporary paralysis.

Moonshine was made from corn and is strong enough to burn your organs. Moonshine caused nerve damage as well as sores and ulcers.
Jake and Moonshine
Transport of alcohol
Most bootleggers wrote something other than what was in the barrel on the barrel. Such as “coffee” written on a barrel of moonshine.
If you were a bootlegger working for Al Capone, there was no need to do so because he had half the cops in Chicago on his payroll.

How did they hide it
Legacy of Prohibition
After 13 years, in 1933 the Prohibition ended.
Bars were opened again, and there was no need for bootlegging although it did continue.
End of the Prohibition
The Wettest County in the World is a true story about the life of the Bondurant brothers. The Bondurant brothers were bootleggers in Virginia who made a living bootlegging moonshine. They have complete control in Virginia, so when new bootleggers come down and try to make sell to their people they have no problem eliminating the problem.

If you prefer not to read, Lawless (2012) is based off of The Wettest County in the World. The movie helps you visualize the horrific things that bootleggers had to go through.

Because of the Prohibition:
A standard has been set for the amount of alcohol allowed to be in beer, wine, and liquor.
Moonshine and other "white lighting" drinks are illegal to make because of the health risks.
The government provided bootleggers with poisoned alcohol, which could have been distilled and made safe for drinking.

But this process costly, so bootleggers did not bother to. They added flavors, coloring, and water to cover up the bad taste.

The denatured alcohol caused death, permanent blindness, and paralyzed people. By 1927 eleven thousand people had died from poisoned alcohol.

Government intervention
If you were found selling or making liquor:
You had to serve the rest of your life in prison
All of your liquor was confiscated
Your distillery and sometimes house was burned
You could possibly be put in the electric chair
Bootleggers needed a fast way to get away from cops, so most of them had one person on their team that was good with cars.
Some cars had smoke machines to confuse cops and some were made faster than the cop cars.
The liquor was in hidden compartments.

Bootleggers also gave their liquor to flappers to sell.
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Bootlegging is the illegal manufacture, transport, and sale of liquor.

Source" Google images
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