Prohibition in Alberta

Whenever I research a newly acquired item, it’s always a learning experience.  

Of course, I am referring to the Calgary Wine and Spirit jug, from a few days ago.  My husband has always been a collector… The same cannot be said of me…  When we first started in this business, I was led to believe that these jugs were originally vinegar jugs and that it was the owners who subsequently filled them with whiskey or moonshine (like Granny on the Beverly Hillbillies).  

So, when the lady told me she had an oversized whiskey jug to sell, I quickly commented that it was a vinegar jug.  Of course, I had to quickly retract my statement when I saw the stamp on the jug, which clearly indicated that the original content was without a doubt alcohol.   

The other interesting thing, of which I was reminded, was that Alberta was subject to a period of Prohibition.  Interesting, individual municipalities were the first to ban the consumption of alcohol.  Later, the provinces imposed their ban and eventually all of Canada was subject to Prohibition from 1918 - 1920 (a temporary wartime measure).  

Prince Edward Island was the first province to enact prohibition in 1901 and it was the last province to remove it in 1948.  Alberta passed its prohibition law in 1916 and repealed it in 1924, along with Saskatchewan.  Not long after the repeal of prohibition, legislation was enacted to restrict the sale of alcohol to minors and to impose excise taxes on alcoholic products. 

Its also interesting to note that there are still a number of municipalities in Canada that continue to prohibit or restrict the sale of alcohol within their borders.  In Alberta:
- Cardston Country, including the towns of Cardston, Magrath, Del Bonita were still “dry towns in 2013. 
- Linden (in central Alberta, southwest of Three Hills and north of Beiseker). 

All very interesting.

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