The detroit-windsor funnel was the nickname given to the alcohol smuggling activity during the prohibition era of the 1920's and 1930's that occurred in the detroit river between the border cities of windsor, ontario and detroit, michigan. Alcohol, discovered by prohibition agents during a raid on an illegal distillery, pours out of upper windows of three-story storefront in detroit during prohibition an ingenious, anonymous man demonstrates for reporters how one can transport flasks of alcohol throughout the city during prohibition. Near the canadian border, detroit became a bootlegger's dream town during the prohibition, especially the detroit river, lake st clair, and other waterways between michigan and ontario a not-so-innocent little fresh fish & fruit floating market that's just supplied these gentlemen with some beer.
Historians estimate that up to 75 percent of the alcohol consumed in the united states during the prohibition was transported by ordinary people (not just gangsters) between windsor, canada, and. During this period in detroit history, the city was known as the 'paris of the west', with the motor manufacturing sector, including ford, chrysler, dodge and packard, strongly established the smuggling of alcohol across the canadian border became established equally quickly during prohibition (1920 to 1933. During prohibition, sneaking liquor across the border was almost a badge of honour it was estimated that up to 25% of the local population was involved in some form of smuggling alcohol into detroit. After 1920, frozen lake st clair and the detroit river were frequently used to illegally procure alcohol from canada by some accounts, around 75 percent of the alcohol distributed in the us during prohibition came through detroit detroit was nicknamed whiskeytown, and boasted over 25,000 speak-easys.
The detroit river, lake st clair, and the st clair river are estimated to have carried 75% of all liquor smuggled into the united states during prohibition government officials were unable or unwilling to deter the flow. The new alcohol trafficking gangs during prohibition also crossed ethnic lines, with italians, irish, jews and poles working with each other, although inter-gang rivalries, shootings, bombings and killings would shape the 1920s and early '30s. In last call, a witty popular history of the prohibition era, published in 2010, daniel okrent chronicled the country's six-month infatuation with nonalcoholic beer, and its longer. Prohibition's supporters were initially surprised by what did not come to pass during the dry era when the law went into effect, they expected sales of clothing and household goods to skyrocket.
Rum runners delivered the good stuff to america's speakeasies rum running, the organized smuggling of imported whiskey, rum and other liquor by sea and over land to the united states, started within weeks after prohibition took effect on january 17, 1920. Graphic 25: a biplane smuggling alcohol on the ice source: the detroit news graphic 26: a modern plane smuggling cigarettes source: michigan state police organized crime played a significant role in the acquisition, transportation and sale of alcohol in the country and in michigan. Seventy-five percent of all the alcohol smuggled into the united states during prohibition crossed the border at the windsor-detroit funnel by 1929 rumrunning was detroit's second largest industry, netting $215 million per year.
A truck carrying alcohol across the detroit river during prohibition crashed through the ice handout photo received june 2010 for carol cain column free press archives. The gang, which originally was a loose confederation of independent criminals, began by hijacking alcohol smuggled by others across the canadian border during prohibition al capone, the notorious chicago gangster, chose to use the purple gang to supply whisky rather than battle them for detroit territory. The posse trolled the detroit waterways during prohibition, hijacking the liquor caches of rival gangs enlarge this image a view of bootlegging operation along the detroit river near riopelle street. Even before prohibition was enacted in michigan in 1918 and ratified at the federal level less than a year later, university of michigan students were limited in where they could and could not drink alcohol.
Detroit during prohibition: bootlegger's dream town prohibition became the law in 1920 and ended in 1933 detroit police examine the illegal hooch nabbed in a raid during the 1920s the beer. In fact, the city's two major industries during most of the 1920s were the manufacture of automobiles and the distribution of canadian liquorusing police and court records, newspaper accounts, and interviews with those who lived during the time, philip p mason has constructed a fascinating history of life in michigan during prohibition.
Detroit was strategically positioned to prosper from prohibition with windsor just across the detroit river, detroiters had easy access to alcohol (at the time, canada has lax alcohol laws) it's estimated that 75 percent of the alcohol smuggled into the us during prohibition crossed the border at the windsor-detroit funnel. Was transported across the detroit river from canada, especially the thirty-mile stretch from lake erie to the st clair river in fact, the city's two major industries during most of the 1920s were the manufacture of automobiles and the distribution of canadian liquor. A history of alcohol transport across the detroit river during prohibition pages 4 words 1,005 view full essay more essays like this: not sure what i'd do without.