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Prohibition As It Is



The Investigator of the World's Work Visits Rebellious Chicago,
Also an Iowa Town, Dry and Otherwise, and the Drugstores
of Kansas City. The Prevalence of “White Mule” in Kansas




ETRIBUTION, manifested by he was not known; but this open, shame

unwashed windows, an unlighted less defiance of law by the Chicago judge sign, an unlighted

unlighted interior, surpassed anything I had beheld. and chairs piled on tables, After he had gone out I got his name

had overtaken the once gay from a tipsy politician, who went on to restaurant to which I went at dinner time say, “I was a teetotaller for twenty years, on reaching Chicago. They have a dry but when prohibition came I took to mayor there. He has closed literally drinking again. Ask my wife here; she'll thousands of "soft-drink parlors," and tell you." And she did. here was additional evidence of his severity.

POLICEMEN AT CABARETS Nevertheless, waiters in a restaurant NE night I was shown an elaborate a block farther on were serving cocktails bar only a few steps from Mayor in cocktail glasses, whisky in whisky Dever's office, and saw whisky sold glasses, cordials in cordial glasses. Cups at seventy-five cents a “shot" while for wine provided the sole recognition of a policeman looked on. Then I was the law. Though a stranger and with- shown two cabarets, no great distance out introduction, I received a hearty wel- away, where throngs of Chicagoans were come.

drinking. In one of the cabarets, a tall, At the table next to mine a personage handsome fellow was repeatedly saluted in horn-rimmed spectacles and with unus as “Sergeant.” I took him for an Army ually long hair was hailed by man after officer. All Army officers, as well as all man as “Judge.” At first I thought it Naval officers, all lawyers, all civil sermust be one of those imaginary titles vants, and all naturalized citizens, have formerly common in the Middle West, solemnly sworn to support the Constibut presently I heard him remark, “And tution, which now includes an Eighteenth he said to me right in my own court, Amendment. But it turned out that the ‘Your honor.'' Also, one of the person- tall, handsome fellow was not an Army age's friends asked, “How goes it, Judge? sergeant. Instead, he was a police serJury cases?" and the personage assented. geant.

His honor had a cocktail, then several My guide suggested a visit to a still cups of wine, and I confess that I was larger cabaret far out. There, so he asshocked, New Yorker though I am. In

In sured me, a thousand people would be a certain New Jersey town, a judge is the seen drinking. However, no liquor is sold leading bootlegger; in New York, a boot on the premises. Guests bring flasks or legger complains that he is forced to give dispatch waiters to neighboring establishaway large quantities of Scotch to judges, ments. So I countered the suggestion and I had seen a Boston judge merry over by asking him to show me a thoroughly his wine in a New York restaurant where notorious cabaret of which I had heard.

He refused-said the place was too tough I picked up a copy of La Tribuna altogether and he hated to risk going Italiana. It contained three enormous there. He is a police reporter.

advertisements of materials for making Johnny Weber, low comedian and total wine. The boldest announced “The proabstainer, whom I met in Detroit, had duct which you will obtain will be suadvised me to visit Englewood-rather perior in taste, color, and strength.” Near wet, he called it. In fact, he seemed to Hull House, a placard advertised "wine think Englewood the one wet spot in barrels; white oak likker keg.” In the Chicago. It is certainly wet. Open Jewish quarter a sign read, “Distributors saloons sell highly alcoholic beer to any of Sacramental Wine,” announcing what stranger. In several of these saloons I

was presumably a lawful enterprise, for found policemen.

Chicago had been having a "wine cleanFrom Englewood I tramped down Hal- up” in an effort to abolish “fake congrested Street all the way to West Madi- gations” and “fake rabbis with fake son Street - five

whiskers.” When miles of prohibi

the clean-up began tion. I counted "You can't legislate morals into people" is the

there were 275 fake thirty-one saloons, way the Mayor of Buffalo, formerly a brewer,

congregations in the noticed whisky

sums up prohibition. In Buffalo Mr. Hartt city. glasses in six shop found many saloons, but they were kept orderly

At Hull House, windows, and stud by a special liquor squad. But Detroit he thought Miss Binford said: ied the displays of to be a dry town, until one morning at breakfast "Though of course home-brewing ap

a waitress said to him: “Oh, wasn't I pickled last we have not got paratus and mate night!"

prohibition, this rials in eight differMr. Hartt's first article, telling of his first

neighborhood has ent establishments. week's travel and observations on how far the

greatly improved. Volstead Act is affecting this country, appeared There were wine

There are vastly in the January issue of the World's Work. presses for rent at a

fewer saloons. dollar a day. There

There is less drinkwere innumerable

ing, especially bottle-capping machines. There were among women."

Elsewhere I was given kegs, crocks, jugs, and funnels of all sizes. a reprint of Judge Gemmell's famous acAmong the brands of malt-extract dis count of prohibition in Chicago, and read: played, I noted Bosch, High Test Pure Barley, Light Bavarsko, Buckeye, Radio, Fifteen years ago the Bridewell, our city Puri-Tan, Good Health, Belgian, Wenner- prison, seldom had less than 1,800 prisoners, stend's, Berg's, Blatz, Bohemian, Unity,

and very often was crowded with 2,200; now

the number of inmates in that institution Rasmint, Prima, La Swiss, Sieben's, “ Bud

ranges from 650 to 1,200. Then it took all the weiser" Barley, Kauno, Bohemian de

time of two judges, sitting at Harrison Street, Luxe, High Power, and Quality. Placards

our central court, to dispose of the criminal proclaimed the merits of the various

business there. They often tried as many as brands: “Success assured-no boiling, no 400 cases in a single morning. Now only one odor, no mess”; “Made in five minutes, judge sits there and he seldom has over 125 $1 a can”; “Makes the finest beverage.” and often less than 50 cases per day. Then As a bartender informed me, beer thus Monday was the worst day of the week, for manufactured at home cost a cent and a we had the drunks brought in during Saturhalf a bottle.

day afternoon and Sunday. Now the number One of the shops advertised “old style

of drunks arraigned in that court will not flavoring extracts in true resemblance to

average over 50 per day and Monday is our

shortest day. Since the Eighteenth Amendthe original.” Another advertised syr

ment, we have abolished two courts for want ups-“Cognac, rum, crème de menthe,

of business, one at Hyde Park, where we forRock and Rye, and champagne.”

merly had from 100 to 150 cases per day, and In the Italian section of Halsted Street one at Thirty-fifth and Halsted Streets, where


The Anti-Saloon League's Viewpoint


we had a like number. In the last three years Madison Street, where the down-andthe number of prisoners brought to these

outers congregate, and see if you can find courts has been reduced from 10 to 20 per day

a drunken man there.” It was a safe each. The judges, therefore, abandoned challenge. I walked all through that these courts and had what little business there region at all hours of the day and night remained transferred to other courts.

without seeing a drunken man. To be Written two years ago, this article of sure, I was told that in a single “flopJudge Gemmell's is still circulated by the house” the janitor sweeps up seventy or Anti-Saloon League, though during my eighty empty six-ounce bottles, marked stay in Chicago there was a great furor “Denatured Alcohol" and with skull and over the increase in crime-"a murder a cross bones, every morning; but on the day, one hanging a year"-and the street I beheld no evidence that this Crime Commission is said to have a card could be so. In another part of the city index of 200,000 known criminals. a policewoman said, “It's awful-worse

On the other hand, Mr. S. M. Single- than in the old days--more women,” yet ton, an attorney actively interested in even there I saw no drunkenness on the law enforcement, declares, “The im street. provement in crime conditions which has

INSANITY AND ALCOHOL been effected through Mayor Dever's effort to enforce the prohibition law is CALLED upon Miss Helen L. Hood


at the headquarters of the Chicago thing for the city and that it can be en

W. C. T. U. She was interested just forced.”

then in the alleged increase of insanity Faced by such contradictory state

under prohibition, and handed me a ments, Chicagoans judge principally letter on the subject by Dr. W. A. Stoker, by what they see. At the Methodist managing officer of the Kankakee State headquarters, in a a sky-scraper sur

Hospital, largest insane asylum in Illimounted by a cathedral spire, Bishop nois. This is what I read: Hughes said, “Don't tell me prohibition

In regard to the seeming increase in insanity, doesn't prohibit. I've been here fifteen

I will say there has been an increase in the days and I haven't seen a drunken man number of people committed to the state inyet.”

stitutions during the last three years, but I At the office of the Anti-Saloon League, could hardly say that it was on account of Mr. F. B. Ebbert, state superintendent, prohibition. The big increase has been in paid a warm tribute to Mayor Dever and alcoholics who are being sent to state institusaid, “In forty different restaurants I

tions at present, while before prohibition they have tried to buy a drink. I don't know

were sent to the Bridewell in Chicago or the

Washingtonian Home or the different instituwhat I should do with one if it came. I go everywhere and I never see liquor which closed shortly after prohibition went

tions for the cure of the drink habit, most of sold.” Recalling certain observations of into effect, as did the Washingtonian Home in my own the night before, I was about to Chicago and the hospital at the Bridewell. ask him if he had not sometimes wondered The majority of alcoholics, in my opinion, what an innocent-looking coffee cup should not be sent to insane asylums, as a might contain, or if he remembered the majority are sobered up by the time they famous epigram, "In vino demi-tasse," reach us and the few who are still hallucinated when Mr. Ebbert went on, "Right here

soon clear up, and, as I said before, I do not in the Loop, before prohibition, there

believe that they are properly sent or should used to be 100,000 people drinking every

be classified as insane. They should be sent

to the workhouse or the jail. day. Now there aren't 10,000 who take a drink every day." This may be true, Or why not to Dwight, Illinois? That but who knows?

very day the great Keeley Institute at Repeatedly Chicagoans said, "Walk Dwight had a display advertisement in through the 'flop-house' region of West the Chicago Tribune.

Although the Eighteenth Amendment ever their virtues may be, are remarkable is now five years old, the gathering of for scarcity. As its allotment of agents prohibition scandals for the newspapers under the Federal appropriation, the enis still a profession. I talked with its tire State of Illinois gets sixty-seven. leading practitioner in Chicago, who, on Before I left Chicago, Mr. Clarence S. one point, was curiously uninformed Darrow called my attention to an article the price of Scotch. The price of Bour- of his in the American Mercury for Aubon he knew-$5 to $9 a quart—but the gust, 1924. There he deals with the future price of Scotch he had never looked into, of prohibition thus: as he got his free, from the Volstead

By whatever means it was done, and howagents. However, there is little Scotch in Chicago. Nine tenths of the whisky of the people, the fact is that prohibition is

ever slight may have been the understanding sold there is “B 39" grain alcohol redis- entrenched to-day in the fundamental law of tilled or “recovered" by freezing. With ”

the nation, and, what is more important, that 2 per cent. ethyl diatholate, a caramel there are many men and powerful organizacoloring, a little bead oil, and a counter- tions who feel it their duty to enforce it. The feit neck band and stamp, it becomes impossibility of its complete repeal has only “ genuine pre-war stuff,” highly welcome slowly dawned upon the American people. in Roosevelt Road. The Chicago beer

Even to modify the Volstead Act would reis Volstead beer, “shot” with Belgian quire a political revolution, to repeal the alcohol, or with alcohol and ether, or with Eighteenth Amendment is well-nigh incon

ceivable. But does this mean that it will resheer ether.

main in force forever? Does it mean that DISHONEST AGENTS

millions of people who have no sense of wrong

in making, selling, or using intoxicating liquors HE specialist in prohibition scandal will be subject for all time to drastic penalties?

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“honest enforcement.” He said: “The growth and change of law has ever held that Volstead agents go in pairs. If one agent

so long as a statute is on the books it should refuses to 'take' (that's the agent's term

be enforced. All such students know that it for accepting a bribe), he spoils the other

is an idle statement, made by men who are man's game. Or they go in fours. If ignorant of history or who are excessively eager

to enforce some particular law. one refuses to 'take,' he is then spoiling three men's game. Consequently an After citing the laws which directed honest agent is soon double-crossed by the Inquisition in Europe and the laws the dishonest ones and loses his job. providing penalties for witchcraft in Putting the force under Civil Service America, Mr. Darrow says: won't accomplish anything. There's too much 'easy dough.'

All our codes are filled with obsolete laws.

The Fugitive Slave Law was never obeyed in Then, by way of pointing out how much

the North. The Sunday laws to-day in many money there is in the liquor traffic in

states forbid the publication of newspapers, Chicago, he told me of an ignorant boy the running of trains and street cars, riding from Back-of-the-Yards, who became a and driving for pleasure, attending moving hi-jacker two years ago and is now worth picture shows, playing any game, the starting $250,000, while his four brothers are still out of boats on voyages, or the doing of any slaughtering hogs. “Out in a quiet sub- work except work of necessity. Nearly all urb, he has built his mother a $25,000 these laws are dead. house and there are ten acres of ground

After the Civil War the Constitution was around it," said the reporter, adding,

amended to provide equality between whites

and blacks. Congress and most of the facetiously, "Now do you mean to tell me

Northern states thereupon passed explicit prohibition hasn't done any good?"

legislation forbidding any discrimination beAt prohibition headquarters I found

tween the races in public places, such as hotels, the usual situation-able, conscientious theaters, railroad trains, street cars, restauchiefs in command of agents who, what- rants, and the like. But these laws, as every

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White Mule in Your Home


one knows, are now openly ignored. All different names and buys at several difsorts of gambling is forbidden by the statutes ferent places. I don't care for whisky, of the various states. This includes betting myself. I make wine at home; I'm makand playing cards for money or prizes, it in- ing some now out of black figs.” cludes raffles even at church fairs. Yet mosi

Dr. G. Walter Barr, physician, author Americans gamble in some way or other-and are not prosecuted.

of numerous scientific monographs, and The way to get rid of a bad law, which long-time resident of Keokuk, thinks means a law obnoxious to large masses of

that it was absurd to write a police regulapeople, is not by trying to keep it alive, but tion into the organic law of the United by letting it die a natural death. This is the States, but, now that the Amendment is way that society has always followed in deal- there, he supports it, convinced of its ing with unjust laws.

good results. He said to me, "Before

prohibition, I used to stay in my office IN THE CITY OF KEOKUK

every Saturday night because of surgical at Keokuk cases from the fifteen saloons. Now as a place in which to get a glimpse there is no need. It is true that we see of prohibition in Iowa, where Volsteadism violations of the prohibition law; stills has supplanted the Mulct. Twenty-five are made by soldering tops on milk cans years ago I had heard the lowans speak and using a gasoline pipe from a Ford for well of the Mulct, which provided (1) a 'worm'; but a six months' jail sentence local option, (2) a minimum license of is sometimes very effective, and you don't $1,000 in wet towns, (3) in moist towns repeal the tariff law because of smugas high a license as the community might gling. choose to exact, and (4) nine o'clock clos Then, speaking of the drinking among ing. Thus, each town had the liquor law young people, he said: “I don't attribute that local sentiment would sustain; it it to prohibition, I attribute it to 'flapcould be bone-dry if it liked, allow a sa- perism,' and that was a war product. If loon or two if it liked, allow a few more if we had had saloons, there would have it liked; but the compulsory high license been girls drinking at the bar, with their prevented the saloons from becoming feet on the brass rail.” Speaking of the numerous, and the nine o'clock closing increase in drug addiction, he said: “Proprevented their doing their worst. Be- hibition has nothing whatever to do with fore the Mulct, lowa had tried state pro- it. The drinking man deprived of his hibition and pronounced it a failure. drink doesn't crave narcotics. Physicians Keokuk is a river town close to wicked

agree as to that." Illinois, but wherever you go you find

NO SALOONS IN FARM BELT some special reason, loudly insisted upon by the inhabitants, if conditions are not N MY way from Keokuk to Kansas ideal. In Keokuk there is at least no City, I observed prohibition from a large foreign population, and the total car window. Thus seen, it is impressive. population is barely 16,000.

We passed through a series of small MisAt Police Headquarters, the Chief souri towns, every one of which had sasaid: “The Mulct was obeyed. To-day loons near the railway stations in the old there are no saloons, but White Mule days. To-day the traveler cannot detect is made in dwelling houses and sold at even a "soft drink parlor," and on the from a dollar to two dollars a pint, while train he hears about prohibition from additional White Mule comes in boats people who live in those towns. from Illinois. We caught fourteen viola A farmer said, "I come from a comtors last month.” A business man said: munity of seven hundred, a few miles "Right in this very street, every block north of Brookfield. We had two sahas a place where they sell White Mule, loons. Both are gone, and the whole and there is a large sale of whisky in drug community has changed." He named stores, where the same man uses several old topers who are now respected citizens.



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