Prohibition in Colour
By Zoe Cassell
FANTASTIC photographs from the infamous Prohibition era in the early 20th Century have been brought to life in these stunning colourisations.
In one hilarious image a lady can be seen pulling a bottle of whisky from her bootleg while another beaming lady can be seen sneaking alcohol from a walking cane into her soda in an America café.
This incredible set of pictures were provided by the Dupont Circle Hotel in Washington DC and dramatically brought to life after colourisation by British colourisation expert Tom Marshall.
“I was asked to colourise these images of the Prohibition, perfectly capturing both the fashion and atmosphere of this fascinating chapter in American history,” said Tom.
“In January 1919 the American Congress passed the Eighth Amendment, outlawing alcohol and ushering in the infamous Prohibition era.”
Throughout the 1920s the state tried but failed to enforce the ban of alcohol throughout the States.
“Those who opposed the law found ever-creative ways to enjoy a drink,” Tom explained.
“Bootlegging was rampant, as were stores and clubs who secretly served liquor.
“These became known as ‘speakeasies’ since customers had to keep their voices down to avoid attracting police attention.”
These colourised images show ‘Prohibition agents’ and their official badge which was used to pull over suspicious automobiles during the Prohibition era.
The liquor ban ended in 1933 when President Franklin Roosevelt signed a new amendment which approved the manufacture and sale of beer and light wines.
Later that year the Prohibition was completely abolished when a new amendment made the production and consumption of all alcohol legal again.
“One of the many factors that influenced this decision was the Great Depression which hit in 1930,” said Tom.
“The American government realised that they could make millions of dollars by taxing alcohol.”