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Prohibition History - Prohibition Cartoons

Get Used to Drinking Water (The New York World, 1920)

One year into "the noble experiment", cartoonist Rollin Kirby (1875 - 1952) penned this editorial gag which clearly indicated that the nation was being lorded-over by a bunch of prudes.

In the August, 1932, issue of VANITY FAIR MAGAZINE the Conde Nast editors sang high praise for Rollin Kirby while writing their 'Hall of Fame' nomination:

"Because he is considered the finest political cartoonist in America; because he has thrice won the Pulitzer Prize; because he was once a successful magazine illustrator; because he invented the high-hatted Prohibition figure..."

1920s Prohibition created a criminal climate that appealed to more women than you ever might have suspected...


The War Encouraged Prohibitionists (Literary Digest, 1917)

An editorial cartoon made to illustrate that some of the combatant nations across the sea had taken measures to discourage liquor consumption and with the recent U.S. Declaration of war, America would be doing the same thing (only on a far more radical level)...


Prohibition: Triumph of the Prissy (Life Magazine, 1919)

In this 1919 cartoon from the old LIFE MAGAZINE, the cartoonist Paul Beny depicted personal liberty taking it on the chin.


A Prohibition Cartoon by James Montgommery Flagg (Life Magazine, 1922)

James Montgomery Flagg (1877 – 1960) was one of the most celebrated illustrators of this era. He had been a contributing cartoonist for the old LIFE MAGAZINE since he was fourteen years old and he, like many of his colleagues, had a grand old time with the subject of Prohibition.

To read a satirical essay written and illustrated by James Montgomery Flagg, click here..


A.D. Walker Prohibition Cartoon (Harper's Magazine, 1922)

A father/son gag cartoon by the seldom remembered cartoonist A.D. Walker from Harper's Magazine.

American cartoons drawn prior to the mid-1920s were created in the "he-said-she-said" manner until the cartoonist Peter Arno (1904 - 1968) shook things up a bit and introduced the format we are all familiar with today: one drawing, one caption.


A Prohibition Cartoon by Art Young (Life, 1922)

Art Young (1866 – 1943) was a cartoonist best remembered for his contributions to the radical magazine "The Masses", however the hypocritical behavior that was widely inspired by that "Noble Experiment", known as Prohibition, no doubt served as the muse for additional cartoons in other rags.


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