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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Beer In Ads #1857: Facts Versus Fallacies #31

Monday’s ad is another one for the Pennsylvania State Brewers Association, from 1915, No. 31 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 “31,” and again discusses the Brooks High License Law (no relation) and the fallacy of the local option where counties can choose to ban alcohol, even if the rest of the state doesn’t. It’s what became known, after prohibition ended, as dry counties and wet ones, a system that was as bad then as it is today.

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Beer In Ads #1856: Facts Versus Fallacies #28


Sunday’s ad is another one for the Pennsylvania State Brewers Association, from 1915, No. 28 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 “28,” and discusses the Brooks High License Law (no relation) and in general how highly regulated the alcohol industry was even in 1915, and that it is the most “fortified in the law,” as one Congressman put it.

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Beer In Ads #1855: Facts Versus Fallacies #19


Saturday’s ad is another one for the Pennsylvania State Brewers Association, from 1915, No. 19 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 “19,” and is the earliest one I’ve found so far. The ad talks about the evidence that already existed proving that the enforcement of a prohibition would be impossible. Looking back to 1885 and up the previous thirty years, in southern states where alcohol had been made illegal, the number of illegal distilleries had nearly tripled from when it was legal. Not to mention, the loss of revenue and the additional government expenses for enforcement.

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Beer In Ads #1854: Facts Versus Fallacies #98


Friday’s ad is another one for the Pennsylvania State Brewers Association, from 1917, No. 98 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 “98,” is about what current science was saying about alcohol’s benefits in 1917. “Alcohol in not too large doses, taken by the mouth, is undoubtedly burned in the body, and in this burning gives off heat which replaces equivalent energy ordinarily derived from food or body substance.” They cite the habits of the French, who apparently “regularly receive in their daily diet somewhat more energy in the form of alcohol than they do in the form of protein.”

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Beer In Ads #1853: Facts Versus Fallacies #97


Thursday’s ad is another one for the Pennsylvania State Brewers Association, from 1917, No. 97 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 “97,” is about two things, the revenue lost from closing saloons and how it would lead to illegal speakeasys. There was already proof of that, as the few New England states that had already imposed a state prohibition have seen just that occur, and in fact a couple of them quickly repealed them as being “impracticable.” And in 1913, taxes on alcohol accounted for 48.68% of the “total revenue of the government.” And indeed, the industry honestly believed that politicians would not vote for a national prohibition because of how much money they paid into it, but income tax became permanent in 1913, and that balance began to shift, allowing the federal government to not worry too much about the loss of revenue from prohibition. At least not until the depression.

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Beer In Ads #1852: Facts Versus Fallacies #93


Wednesday’s ad is another one for the Pennsylvania State Brewers Association, from 1916, No. 93 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 “93,” is about the prohibitionist claims that drunkenness is ruining marriages and the leading cause of divorce. Like almost everything they sue to promote their cause, it’s exaggerated to suit their aims, much like today’s anti-alcohol organizations. In the ad, statistics available for 1914 from the city of Chicago clearly show that while there are relationships ruined by one of the parties’ overindulging, it’s in far less numbers than the prohibitionists argue. In fact, for Chicago, of the four leading causes of divorce, drunkenness is last and is just 1.5% of the total.

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Beer In Ads #1851: Facts Versus Fallacies #92


Tuesday’s ad is another one for the Pennsylvania State Brewers Association, from 1916, No. 92 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 “92,” is about who was for and against prohibition. According to the ad, it was the working man, and labor organizations, who were steadfastly against taking away their after-work beer. Samuel Gompers, the president of the AFL at the time, is quoted. “I have see more Real Drunkenness in “DRY” States than any other place in the world.” He recounts that traveling the country for work it was evident everywhere he looked that prohibition was a bad idea and would not work.

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Beer In Ads #1850: Facts Versus Fallacies #91


Monday’s ad is another one for the Pennsylvania State Brewers Association, from 1916, No. 91 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 “91,” is about a problem still with us today, which is that the anti-alcohol organizations paint everyone involved in the alcohol trade with the same broad brush and believe every one of us to be pure evil. But as the ad reminds them, “There are Good and Bad People in Every Business and Profession” and “The Good Saloons far Outnumber the Bad Ones.” That this is true should be obvious, but there are still people today who believe that one drop of alcohol can turn you into an alcoholic, and you can thank fanaticism and propaganda by prohibitionists for that.

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Beer In Ads #1849: Facts Versus Fallacies #90


Sunday’s ad is another one for the Pennsylvania State Brewers Association, from 1916, No. 90 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 “90,” is about King George, the king of England, who apparently had a riding accident. He recovered, but it took some time, and one of the things that he was prescribed to help him get better was a daily amount of alcohol, which they referred to as “a little stimulant daily during convalescence.” This story is told to drive home the point that drinking isn’t the problem, over-drinking is what’s leading people to agitate for a prohibition. As a sign on the ad declares: “Moderate Drinkers Are The TRUE Disciples of Temperance.” I’m not sure why that slogan didn’t catch on.

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