Old Photos: Prohibition In Kansas

This post is dedicated to the recent change in Kansas liquor regulations.

Brought to you by the Kansas City Beer Blog – “Where Beer Spills On The Keyboard”

Until recently many Kansans could relate to this predicament photographed in 1946:

Car with Kansas license plate going to Missouri to buy liquor.

Car with Kansas license plate going to Missouri to buy liquor. © Time Inc.Mark Kauffman

While some Kansans were busy parading against the alcohol…

Young people marching in a band as part of the Temperance Tornado Caravan against liquor.© Time Inc.Mark Kauffman

…the others were not convinced.

Lady feeling the effects of too much liquor. © Time Inc.Mark Kauffman

Man feeling the effects of too much liquor.© Time Inc.Mark Kauffman

Getting drunk in Kansas wasn’t so easy. If you didn’t feel like going to a liquore store that looked like this…

Liquor store displaying federal license © Time Inc.Mark Kauffman

…you had to smuggle the contraband in a secret compartment of your car.

Bootlegging car showing compartment in back for carrying liquor. © Time Inc.Mark Kauffman

Then in a shady-looking roadhouse…

Outside view of popular roadhouse during prohibition. © Time Inc.Mark Kauffman

…you could finally imbibe with people you’ve never met….

Men and women in Kansas roadhouse, during prohibition.

Men and women in Kansas roadhouse, during prohibition.© Time Inc.Mark Kauffman

…while the less fortunate citizens had to listen to boring speeches while sober.

Dry audience listening to a speech by Frank W. Carlson.

"Dry" audience listening to a speech by Frank W. Carlson.© Time Inc.Mark Kauffman

Frank W.Carlson who is mentioned in the last photo was the Governor of Kansas in the late 40’s.

While governor, Carlson presided over the removal of prohibition in Kansas. “I’m a teetotaler,” claimed Carlson. “I don’t smoke or drink, but I have no quarrel with those who do. I’m a great believer in letting the people decide.”

Some of the modern-day politicians could learn a lesson from Mr. Carlson.

Read more about the alcohol laws in Kansas.

  • I surely miss Life Magazine and it’s great pictorials… nothing to compare today. (Except Meesha posts.)

  • radiomankc

    Nice photo essay. Thanks for posting it. I enjoy you as a link on my site too and that’s how I see your good stuff.

    http://radiomankc.blogspot.com/

  • I travel for JOOLS

    I love 40’s clothes..just look at those shoes on that passed out woman.

  • Anna

    The hat on that woman is fantastic. Are are the jeans on the marching kids. Wonder how many of their parents went off smuggling after the parade.