Origin: United States
Materials: paper, cardboard, leather
Object ID: WHP-PW1
The Anti-Prohibition Manual: A Summary of Facts and Figures Dealing with Prohibition was published by the Publicity Department of the National Wholesale Liquor Dealers Association of America, Cincinnati. This 128-page book provides quick and easy facts to answer/respond to federal prohibition arguments as presented by various temperance organizations, including the Anti-Saloon League, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), and other forces who believed that Prohibition was necessary in America.
This is a second edition Anti-Prohibition Manual; four editions were published in all between 1915-1918 by the Publicity Department of the National Wholesale Liquor Dealers Association of America. The intention of the publication was to furnish the members of the trade, their employees, and their friends in support of anti-prohibition with the tools to defend the beer, wine and spirits industry in America. The organization also wanted to bring a better understanding of the liquor business and present a system of laws to protect both the public and the retail liquor merchant.
The National Wholesale Liquor Dealers Association of America moved to Cincinnati, but was originally incorporated August 31, 1896, in Cleveland, Ohio and as stated in their Constitution, Article II,
“The National Wholesale Liquor Dealers Association of America is established to secure co-operation (sic) amongst the wholesale dealers and distillers of the United States, in furthering and protecting the general welfare and prosperity of the trade; to guard its interests as affected by State and Federal legislation; to protect it against an oppressive, arbitrary or unjust administration of the Revenue and Tariff Laws; to further the passage and administration of laws for the protection of trade-marks (sic); and to gather and disseminate practical and useful information relating to the trade in all its bearings.”
As an example of the growth of this organization in the time when state and federal government officials were making decisions about prohibiting liquor, the membership went from 380 in 1903, to 566 in 1904, 713 in 1905, and by 1908 “the organization … is composed of nearly one thousand of the largest distilling and wholesale liquor firms in the United States, representing in volume of business and capital invested at least ninety-five percent of the trade.”
Membership from California of the national organization continued to grow when the wine industry realized that the prohibition forces were also going to affect the wine industry.
Here’s an example of writing in the 1916 edition of the Anti-Prohibition Manual:
“When the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock its pious travelers carrying their bottle of booze ashore with their household effects, ran afoul of a husky, warlike red race of teetotalers. How long did the water-drinkers keep their land from the Pilgrims, whose descendants were the guys who put “make” in Jamaica rum, and who at last accounts were still able to match muscles or wits with any total abstainers whatever, at a ratio of about five to one?”
This book from the Wine History Project’s collection is now on display at the Paso Robles Historical Association at the Carnegie Library in the exhibit Temperance, “T”eeTotalers, and Taboo.
Much of this information was found in the 1904 Yearbook published August 31, 1904, from Pittsburg, Pa. (sic) from the organization’s annual convention held June 8-10, at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. Information was quoted from an article written by David Stauber, “Attitude of the Distillers and Wholesale Liquor Dealers on the Regulation of the Liquor Traffic” found in The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 32, Regulation of the Liquor Traffic (Nov, 1908), pp. 69-74 published by Sage Publications, Inc.