America’s Storied History with Booze and Pipe Tobacco

Back in the early days here in America, the original settlers (some times are known as Puritans) were no strangers to brew and pipe tobacco (the classic kind). If you dive into history and check the Mayflower logbooks, they mention their beer supplies were running low (our language), so time to pull the Mayflower into a port that would enable a restock of beer. Check the top 10 best pipe tobacco 2020 on our Windy City Cigars website.

Pipe Tobacco Has been in Vogue in the U.S. Since the Good Old Early Days 

Pipe tobacco was central to the colonists’ lifestyle, and in Virginia, it was at the time coin of the realm (excuse the pun). But, marketing campaigns were extolling the evils and risks of consuming pipe tobacco and booze in the early nineteenth century of any kind: beer and hard liquor.

the black bottom and Americas history with pipe tobacco

Drinkers and smokers were extolled to “temper” their habits and to put down the evil drink, and tobacco was considered harmful because it “dried out the mouth” and made the smoker thirsty for beer or liquor. Go figure.

In the early nineteenth century, the “modern” temperance movement. In the early days of the campaign, it wasn’t just about booze or beer – many considered smoking, dancing, movies, revealing outfits, and staying out late as injurious to health and good moral standing. These people had no idea how to have a good time, or, if they did, it must have been pretty dull.

In fact, by the turn of the century, it was common to find “temperance societies” in thousands of communities across the United States. Women were playing a much more vital role in the movement. Many considered alcohol a destructive force in families and marriages.

The Rise of the Anti Saloon League

early saloon with smoke and drink in hand

The rise of the “Anti Saloon league” (created in the late 1800s) was considered by many historians to be a reaction to the tremendous urban growth across the U.S. and the rise of the saloon culture, and it’s being seen by “puritanical” Americans as being just wrong. And factory owners were all in favor of stopping booze consumption, as it contributed to many injuries on the job in their factories and drove down overall production.

The actual legal prohibition of alcohol had a lot to do with patriotism as it did with morality or religion. In the early 1900’s the beer industry was controlled by families who had immigrated from Germany: Schlitz, Anheuser, Pabst, and Miller were all influenced by tycoons who had roots deep in Germany

As a reference point in history, the Volstead Act was passed in 1917 (which triggered prohibition), just as the U.S. declared war on Germany. Clearly, at this point, beer and patriotism were aligned as never before. Just after the U.S. entered World War I, President Woodrow Wilson instituted a temporary wartime prohibition to save grain from producing food versus beer.

But, prohibition was difficult to enforce (we Americans love our booze, pipe tobacco, cigarettes, and good times). The illegal manufacture and sale of alcohol (referred to as “bootlegging”) progress through the next decade, and the “speakeasy” (nightclubs) was created, and moonshine or bathtub gin made at home helped to ensure Americans had access to booze and good times.

The End of Prohibition and Let the Good Times Roll 

Prohibition was repealed in 1933, and the country roared into good times: booze, beer, the black bottom, and smoking were all in style and vogue. Fast forward to the modern era, and you’ll find a patchwork of laws, regulations that differ by city, county, and state. We are still somewhat of a puritanical culture; contrast network TV with cable, and you’ll get a snapshot of two different worlds.

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