Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November Theme Day: Fences

This little beauty, bootlegger Roy Taylor, was captured and put behind bars, 
arrested on December 9,1920 for distilling moonshine. It was during the time of Prohibition and three Indianapolis police officers had raided a farm just outside the city, where they confiscated a large still, thirty-eight gallons of "white mule" whiskey, one gallon of malt, fifteen pounds of flour, 
a hundred pounds of corn sugar, and two hundred gallons of mash.
Taylor later pleaded guilty to operating an illegal saloon, was fined $100,
and sentenced to serve 120 days at the Indiana State Penal Farm.
Mr. Taylor, who is otherwise unemployed, distilled the whiskey
as a way to earn money to support his family.* 

These photos were taken at the Indiana Historical Society exhibit, 
You Are There 1920: Busted! Prohibition Enforced
which is a recreation of the Indianapolis police headquarters
on the day they raided the farm at New Bethel, Indiana.
The exhibit explains how Prohibition resulted, in part, from an attitude of xenophobia and "nativism" which blamed immigrants, primarily
Germans, Irish and Scots for many of the crimes and 
social concerns of the day -- high unemployment, urban decay,
 health problems, delinquency and moral decline.
The exhibition asks visitors to draw comparisions with our attitudes
towards immigrants a hundred years ago and the manner in which
the same issues are addressed today.

*Information for this item was taken from 
Lesson Plans: Prohibition Undertones, a publication of the 
Indiana Historical Society, 2011

To see how others have interpreted today's City Daily Photo theme,


dive said...

What a fantastic exhibit, Speedway. A great Theme Day post and an extremely pertinent lesson for today's politicians.

Jilly said...

Love your interpretation of today's theme. Brilliant and fascinating.

lin said...

there's been a terrific documentary on prohibition on PBS quite recently. Did you see it?

Speedway said...

G'morning, Dive. Thank you, Jilly (I love your fenced in cat!). Hi, Lin.

Sadly I don't think the people who need see the similarities between our behaviors then and now would be able to acknowledge the similarities, and to change. I found it amazing (Though I shouldn't have been surprised) that the Volsted Act was pushed through by one man and a small group of people with a narrow interest, much like the behavior of the far right politicians we have now. It is endless; we need to be vigilant against the vigilantes.

Yes, Linda, I did see the series, another Ken Burns production, though I'd read an article earlier about the Anti-Saloon League and Wayne Wheeler, who conceived and drafted the bill.


Petrea Burchard said...

Good job, Speedway.

Speedway said...

Thank you, Petrea. To be honest, I'd another picture in mind but "mislaid" it among the thousands of other images. I saw the picture I took a couple weeks ago of the actor portraying the bootlegger and, well, one thing led to another.

cieldequimper said...

This must have been extremely interesting, I would have enjoyed it!