21 Photos of Prohibition Agents Destroying Perfectly Good Booze

On January 16, 1920, hundreds of booze-loving Americans took to the streets to buy their last legal drinks from liquor stores and bars. The United States officially became a “dry” country the next day, when the 18th Amendment banning “the manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors” went into effect.

Here, prohibition agents are seen dumping or destroying seized liquor in public.

Warning: This content may be disturbing to some readers, especially the booze-lovers.

Prohibition agents dump liquor out of a raided building, 1929
prohibition-1

IMAGE: DETROIT NEWS COLLECTION, WALTER P. REUTHER LIBRARY, WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY

Barrels of beer slated for destruction, 1929
prohibition-2

IMAGE: IMAGNO/AUSTRIAN ARCHIVES/GETTY IMAGES

Public Safety Director Smedley Butler uses a pickaxe to destroy barrels of beer and lets it run into the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, December 1, 1924
prohibition-3

IMAGE: UNDERWOOD ARCHIVE

Prohibition agents smash bottles of wine and alcohol in Boston, Massachusetts, c. 1921
prohibition-4

Photo: TOPICAL PRESS AGENCY/GETTY IMAGES

Agents pour alcohol into the sewers of New York City, c. 1920
prohibition-5

Photo: FPG/HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES

1925
prohibition-6

Photo: HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES

New York City Liquor Agent Izzy Einstein dumps liquor into the gutter, c. 1920
prohibition-7

Photo: DAILY NEWS/NY DAILY NEWS/GETTY IMAGES

c. 1920
prohibition-8

Photo: ULLSTEIN BILD/GETTY IMAGES

1921
prohibition-9

Photo: GRAPHICAARTIS/GETTY IMAGES

c. 1925
prohibition-10

Photo: BETTMANN/CORBIS

Beer vats being rolled away at a brewery in Washington, D.C., switching from brewing beer to making ice cream, c. 1920
prohibition-11

Photo:

33,000 gallons of wine are pumped into the sewers of Los Angeles, February 1920
prohibition-12

Photo: HULTON-DEUTSCH COLLECTION/CORBIS

c. 1920
prohibition-13

Photo: UNDERWOOD & UNDERWOOD/CORBIS

c. 1920
prohibition-14

Photo: CORBIS

Beer with an ABV above the local legal limit of 2.75% is dumped into Lake Michigan, October 9, 1919
prohibition-15

Photo: BETTMANN/CORBIS

c. 1920
prohibition-16

Photo: CORBIS

March 25, 1931
prohibition-17

Photo: LEONARD DETRICK/NY DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES

June 18, 1931
prohibition-18

Photo: NY DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES

May 19, 1925
prohibition-19

Photo: LARRY FROEBER/NY DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES

Nov. 11, 1920
prohibition-20

Photo: NY DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES

c. 1920
prohibition-21

Photo: NY DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES

…and comes the night they ended Prohibition, December 5, 1933
Originally intended to prevent drunkenness and crime, it soon became clear that Prohibition did just the opposite, as speakeasies began popping up and bootlegging essentially led to the establishment of organized crime in the country.
end-of-prohibition

Photo: NY DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES

H/T Mashable
 

SHARE this with your friends!