The year 1920 marked the ratification of the 18th amendment by Congress. This act effectively prohibited the manufacture, transportation, and sale of intoxicating liquors (aka alcohol). At this time in history, America was still celebrating the end of World War 1 (which had drawn to a close on November 11, 1918), and what does any good celebration need? Well, liquor of course! Bootleggers like Al Capone saw an opportunity to capitalize on alcohol’s outlaw. However, with the looming threat of arrest and imprisonment, they needed to get clever to outsmart the police.
Enter Sherlock Holmes, a fictitious British detective who “lived” across the pond solving cases far before Prohibition even began. In one of his cases, The Adventure of the Priory School, Sherlock Holmes solved what left even the best detectives scratching their heads. One of the most puzzling facets of this case was the fact that there were cow hoof prints everywhere, but curiously not a cow in sight. After careful analysis, Sherlock cleverly deduced that the criminal had put special shoes shaped like cow’s hooves on his horse. This was one of the key details that helped unravel the case and locate the Duke’s missing son.
Putting special shoes on a horse to throw off the police, pretty clever huh? Well, a bootlegger thought so too. In a stroke of brilliance, one (or several) rumrunners fastened these shoes to wear in an attempt to throw off the police. Unfortunately for them, cops soon figured out what these criminals were up to. Once word got out about these crazy shoes, it was back to the drawing board. However, the bootleggers still had a good run at putting the ‘moo’ in moonshine.
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