The quarterly meeting of the Burlingame Historical Society featured Carmen Blair who is the deputy director of the SM County Historical Society talking about Prohibition in the County. She has quite a story to tell about "Hooch, Sauce, Coffin Varnish, Jiggle Soup" and reading the label in the photo closely "Lion Piss". When else am I going to get to say "Lion Piss" on the Voice?
The 18th Amendment prohibited the manufacture, sale and transportation of alcohol from 1920 until repeal in 1933. But note that it did not prohibit owning or consuming alcohol and apparently there was plenty of that going on in San Mateo County. Our coast line was prime rumrunner territory with lots of little inlets and wagons full of artichoke to hid the hooch in. Bootleggers could make up to $2500 per day verses a good paying job at $25 per day in that era.
In B'game, Sarah Winchester's purchase of the bayfront property in 1904 from the estate of William Corbett had specific restrictions on alcohol included in the terms. The Burlingame Women's Club wanted to "curtail the vile traffic in intoxicants" as early as 1907. In 1921, Burlingame PD raided a brandy still in town. In 1928, they arrested a bootlegger who hid behind a tree and filled flasks for $2 a piece. He easily posted a $300 bond which is about $4300 in today's dollars! The Burlingame Country Club rejoiced over Repeal in 1933 since serving members was a good revenue source and it sold $17,000 worth in the first year (more than $300,000 in today's dollars)! Here is a photo of my new favorite brand and of Carmen Blair. Great presentation!