Beer In Ads #1867: Facts Versus Fallacies #67


Thursday’s ad is another one for the Pennsylvania State Brewers Association, from 1915, No. 67 in series they did from 1915-17 called “Facts Versus Fallacies.” I have no idea how many were done but some of the them are numbered into low triple digits, suggesting there were a lot of them, all in an effort to stop Prohibition from happening and win over support for beer. This ad, marked “67,” and is about how in every state that already had a prohibition in alcohol, it was failing miserably, and was impossible to enforce. In Alabama, in one city alone — Birmingham — it was estimated that 500 packages of alcohol were delivered every single day to residents who’d ordered them from out of state. So yeah, that worked.

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Beer In Ads #1866: Facts Versus Fallacies #61


Wednesday’s ad is another one for the Pennsylvania State Brewers Association, from 1915, No. 61 in series they did from 1915-17 called “Facts Versus Fallacies.” I have no idea how many were done but some of the them are numbered into low triple digits, suggesting there were a lot of them, all in an effort to stop Prohibition from happening and win over support for beer. This ad, marked “61,” and is about a canard that’s still used as propaganda by prohibitionists today, which is that people who drink alcohol are criminals and that one leads to the other. But even statistics at that time (as today) did not support that claim, and in fact a majority of incarcerated people were not alcoholics. They go on citing several experts of the day, all with he same opinion, that drinking alcohol does not cause someone to become a criminal, despite the ludicrous cries of the anti-alcohol wingnuts.

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Beer In Ads #1865: Facts Versus Fallacies #57


Tuesday’s ad is another one for the Pennsylvania State Brewers Association, from 1915, No. 57 in series they did from 1915-17 called “Facts Versus Fallacies.” I have no idea how many were done but some of the them are numbered into low triple digits, suggesting there were a lot of them, all in an effort to stop Prohibition from happening and win over support for beer. This ad, marked “57,” and is about yet another false claim by the Anti-Saloon League at their annual convention in Atlantic City, when they claimed that a report offered showed that thousands of people in Pennsylvania were giving up drinking. Sadly, this still happens frequently today, and the report showed no causation and was shown out of context. Statistics from another source, the I.R.S., contradicts their claim, of course.

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Beer In Ads #1864: Facts Versus Fallacies #55


Monday’s ad is another one for the Pennsylvania State Brewers Association, from 1915, No. 55 in series they did from 1915-17 called “Facts Versus Fallacies.” I have no idea how many were done but some of the them are numbered into low triple digits, suggesting there were a lot of them, all in an effort to stop Prohibition from happening and win over support for beer. This ad, marked “55,” and is again about Maine and especially how Massachusetts is accused of supplying alcohol to them, demonstrating more evidence that the local option — which is really a “local prohibition” — cannot work and should be abandoned. And that’s from people within the Anti-Saloon League at one of their own meetings, causing some amount of embarrassment to the prohibitionist position.

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Beer In Ads #1863: Facts Versus Fallacies #54


Sunday’s ad is another one for the Pennsylvania State Brewers Association, from 1915, No. 54 in series they did from 1915-17 called “Facts Versus Fallacies.” I have no idea how many were done but some of the them are numbered into low triple digits, suggesting there were a lot of them, all in an effort to stop Prohibition from happening and win over support for beer. This ad, marked “54,” and is about how Maine has fared with their 50-year prohibition, which began in 1846. Apparently, a prohibitionist group complained to the sitting governor that he should enforce the law, but he responded that he did not have the authority to do so, that only the legislature could do something, and that they had even impeached several sheriffs for not doing their jobs, only to have their replacements do even less to stop prohibition. So it would appear that Maine’s efforts at stopping people from drinking was an abject failure, and yet still prohibitionists continued agitating for a national ban on alcohol, knowing full well it was unlikely to do any good whatsoever.

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Beer In Ads #1862: Facts Versus Fallacies #50


Saturday’s ad is another one for the Pennsylvania State Brewers Association, from 1915, No. 50 in series they did from 1915-17 called “Facts Versus Fallacies.” I have no idea how many were done but some of the them are numbered into low triple digits, suggesting there were a lot of them, all in an effort to stop Prohibition from happening and win over support for beer. This ad, marked “50,” and in this one the message is simple. Pass legislation for a prohibition and thousands will lose their jobs, entire industries will be decimated, governments will lose large sums of tax revenue and, after all that, it won’t even stop people from drinking alcohol. So yeah, that sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it?

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Beer In Ads #1861: Facts Versus Fallacies #49


Friday’s ad is another one for the Pennsylvania State Brewers Association, from 1915, No. 49 in series they did from 1915-17 called “Facts Versus Fallacies.” I have no idea how many were done but some of the them are numbered into low triple digits, suggesting there were a lot of them, all in an effort to stop Prohibition from happening and win over support for beer. This ad, marked “49,” and this is another weird one, equating workmen’s compensation cases, which at the time was new law, to drinking. One of the prohibitionist’s arguments was that drinking in the workplace was a dangerous problem, but statistics show that in federal workmen’s comp cases only one involved intoxication, and that one was thrown out. Statistics from other states show similar results, with very few cases involving alcohol, taking the wind out of the propaganda sails for prohibition.

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Beer In Ads #1860: Facts Versus Fallacies #48


Thursday’s ad is another one for the Pennsylvania State Brewers Association, from 1915, No. 48 in series they did from 1915-17 called “Facts Versus Fallacies.” I have no idea how many were done but some of the them are numbered into low triple digits, suggesting there were a lot of them, all in an effort to stop Prohibition from happening and win over support for beer. This ad, marked “48,” and this is another weird one, equating personal wealth with whether or not a state is wet or dry. Statistics at the time suggested that in wet states, people’s personal per capita wealth was much greater than people in dry states. I’m not sure about the causation question, or other factors, but it’s certainly an interesting strategy.

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Beer In Ads #1859: Facts Versus Fallacies #47


Wednesday’s ad is another one for the Pennsylvania State Brewers Association, from 1915, No. 47 in series they did from 1915-17 called “Facts Versus Fallacies.” I have no idea how many were done but some of the them are numbered into low triple digits, suggesting there were a lot of them, all in an effort to stop Prohibition from happening and win over support for beer. This ad, marked “47,” and details the failed efforts of a prohibition in neighboring Ohio. They quote several prominent citizens in Ohio, including a former U.S. president. Their conclusion. “The fallacy of Prohibition is best shown by the fact that whenever tried it has proven a failure, because it is neither just nor practical.”

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Beer In Ads #1858: Facts Versus Fallacies #42


Tuesday’s ad is another one for the Pennsylvania State Brewers Association, from 1915, No. 42 in series they did from 1915-17 called “Facts Versus Fallacies.” I have no idea how many were done but some of the them are numbered into low triple digits, suggesting there were a lot of them, all in an effort to stop Prohibition from happening and win over support for beer. This ad, marked “42,” and is an interesting tactic. It’s simply a reprint of a letter from a federal judge, D.E. Bryant, explaining why in his opinion the local option is a terrible idea and will not work. But here’s my favorite paragraph.

My experience is that prohibitory laws do not prohibit; that they do no good, but to the contrary they are extremely hurtful. There is but one answer to this, and it is that you cannot legislate successfully upon what men regard as a matter of taste. When legislation trenches upon taste the citizen will violate the law with impunity, and in so doing he does not regard himself as a criminal.

Sounds to me like he knew what he was talking about, as that’s pretty much exactly what happened during prohibition.

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