Prohibition forced the American population to purchase alcohol through precarious sources. Instead of buying liquor illegally, one could purchase a nice pint of whiskey from your local drugstore. The Volstead Act contained some intriguing exceptions. One of these was sacramental wine (which made being a priest or rabbi quite desirable) and another was that one could buy 'medicinal whiskey'. Whether for the flu or toothache, whiskey could be prescribed by your physician. This quickly became one of the most popular loopholes for getting alcohol during the prohibition era. It is said that the merchandizing of whiskey helped grow the Walgreens pharmacy chain from 20 to 500 stores during the 1920s.
Unfortunately, World War I made it so that even 'medicinal whiskey' stocks ran short. As the Food and Fuel Control Act took effect, breweries and distilleries were not allowed to make alcohol from food sources. Most closed their doors or used their machines to produce other goods. The medicinal bottles have become precious artifacts of the prohibition era for collectors. But we all know you don't have to be a collector to enjoy a glass of whiskey.
For Medicinal Purposes Only
*we hold no rights to these images