Prohibition Postcards

Both sides of prohibition, whether pro- or anti-, were well represented on postcards. Many of these vintage postcards can be found today as great pieces of history.

By the 1890’s, saloons were just about everywhere in the United States. And some at the time saw drinking as an immoral practice that caused men to spend all their money at saloons instead of necessities for their wife and children. This view of alcohol as a ruiner of families led to the Temperance Movement, in which primarily women and religious leaders sought to reduce drinking.

Nationwide prohibition began in the U.S. in 1920.

Vintage postcards make for remarkable examples in both sides of the prohibition arguments.

The family issue was brought up on many pro-prohibition postcards. Saloons were cast with a light of immorality, and some postcards held persuasive arguments against them. One such vintage postcard says, “A Saloon can no more be run without using up boys than a flouring-mill without wheat, or a saw-mill without logs. The only question is, whose boys – your boy or mine – our boys, or our neighbors’?”CIMG1360

On the flip side, other prohibition cards made light of the situation with humorous scenes reminiscing about the good ol’ days of legal alcohol.

Camels made for a popular theme on prohibition cards. As one prohibition card says, “A camel can go without a drink for eight days – But who the devil wants to be a camel?”prohibition002

And some anti-prohibition cards made their own arguments about the economic benefits of bars.


The man on the card dreams of all the jobs that salons create.


United States prohibition ended in 1933, thirteen years after its beginning.

Prohibition postcards make for great collectors items. If you’re interested in the camel postcards, head here to see if we have them on auction!



Postcardiva for postcards & info

Antique Trader for extensive history

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