Prohibition Agent #1

One topic I might be interested in exploring further at a later date is just how the hell did Prohibition ever come to be passed. It seems absurd to me that Americans for the most part were willing to give up the hooch entirely. Perhaps in the future we might look into the War on Drugs in the same light. Anyways, here’s how one agent enforced the law and imprisoned people for alcohol:

When they heard about a Harlem speakeasy at 132nd Street and Lenox Avenue, in the heart of New York City’s “Black Belt,” they knew that any white costumer would have little chance of being served. So Izzy and Moe would apply blackface and drop in from time to time to get a feel for the place, learning its unstated rules and specific jargon: a “can of beans” was code for a half pint of whiskey, and “tomatoes” meant gin. On their last visit they brought a warrant and a truck, confiscating 15-gallon kegs of “beans” and 100 small bottles of “tomatoes” hidden in a pickle barrel.


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