This weekend marks the closing of a fascinating exhibit at the Indiana State Museum, the wonderful American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition. For those who might not be able to make it to the museum before the exhibit ends, here are a few pictures I snapped to help you get an idea of what you may have missed.

As always, click on each photo to see a more detailed view of each image.

The American Spirits exhibit at the IN State Museum

American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition at the Indiana State Museum

America was a land of lushes

This is where we began on the road to Prohibition.

Anti-Drinking Bills

Anti-Drinking and Pro-Temperance bills were a common sight throughout the latter half of the 19th century — and well into the 20th.

Hatchet used to destroy bar rooms

Hatchets, like this one, were often used to destroy bar rooms and break open beer barrels.

Photo of famous saloon buster Carry Nation

Carry Nation (yes, that was her real name) led the charge in fighting for the Temperance movement in America.

Pro-Temperance Bill

For many, the fight for temperance wasn’t a religious crusade. Alcoholism had an undeniable deleterious effect on many homes.

William Jennings Bryan

Statesmen like William Jennings Bryan joined the fight from the political side of the fence.

Temperance Education was a part of the school curriculum

Temperance education even became a part of school curriculum throughout many pro-Prohibition counties and eventually every state.

The Effects of Spiritous Liquors ledger

Often real science mixed with pseudo science to turn the public’s resistance to Prohibition into favor.

Ratifying the Amendment

Finally in 1920, Prohibition becomes the law of the land and changed the country forever.

Volstead Act

The Volstead Act was passed to give the 18th Amendment some political muscle.

Details about the Volstead Act

And with the Volstead Act came loopholes to get around the Volstead Act.

Bootlegging innovation

Prohibition quickly brought about the birth of the speakeasy and the most expansive bootlegging operation in American history.

Flasks of different forms

Hiding alcohol on your person (despite the fact that it was not illegal to drink) became an art form.

Black and Tans

With the world of speakeasies challenging the law, social behavior began to shift as well.

More details about Black and Tans

Ideas about what was appropriate behavior for men and women, blacks and whites, and unmarried members of society saw the most change during this period.

Did you know - Cocktails

The United Kingdom, Canada and Cuba all played a role in supplying the US with illegal access to top shelf alcohol.

Birth of the Crime Syndicate

The world of organized crime took a giant leap into the public consciousness, filling our newspaper headlines for decades to come.

Olmstead v US

And with new crime waves came new laws to fight crime waves.

Court cases from the Prohibition era that affect us today

The legal means to fight bootleggers, rumrunners, and the growth of crime syndicates throughout the country is marked by court cases that will play a part in American daily life for generations.

Why Prohibition Failed

But those new laws will ultimately prove too little to admit the truth: Prohibition was a failure.

Repeal of the 18th Amendment

With the stock market crash of 1929, temperance and Prohibition become the least of America’s problems. And the support to repeal the 18th Amendment helps put FDR in the White House.