By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (December 5, 2023) – Today’s edition of Fun with Maps takes note of the end of speakeasy’s; the end of an era 90 years ago today.

Drink up!

A case study in changing beliefs, economic consequences, impact on health, loopholes, workarounds, and unintended consequences.


The 18th Amendment of 1919 prohibited the production, transportation, importation, and sale of alcoholic (they meant ethanol, as there are many more alcohols) beverages in the US.  Exceptions were the Church for Sacramental Wine, medical purposes (1 prescription/yr. for each 4 adult), foreigners, diplomats, etc.

Alcohol related diseases, work absenteeism, family issues and just plain old consumption decreased during Prohibition.  So did many jobs in agriculture alcoholic beverage manufacturing, processing and sale.  The economic impact was a key driver for repeal.

Thus, on December 5, 1933 – 90 years ago – the 21st Amendment passed with Utah’s ratification, repealing the 18th Amendment.

Unintended consequences?  Top of the list are illegal activities – gangs, gangsters and the like.  Included in this, Cincinnati’s George Remus who became king of bonded liquor to be sold for medical purposes.  That is ok, but he often stole his own product and resold it.  He also distilled illegally and imported Canadian liquor illegally. He was a natural born bootlegger.

Gray created this map of the Queen City in 1882.  

Map of Cincinnati – 1882 (Credit Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Fun with Maps here on Loveland Beacon.