- Aug 10, 2016
- Reaction score
This combo sold at auction in 2018 for $75
Another example of the best B.I'S (BOTTLE INVESTIGATOR) around. You all continue to find the answers!!!
Canadian prohibition was a funny beast. In fact, the manufacture of beverage alcohol has only been outlawed in Canada during the War of 1812. Starting in the mid-1910s, Canadian provinces began outlawing the sale of beverage alcohol. Constitutionally speaking, the federal government had (still has) say over alcohol production, so it allowed breweries, distilleries and wineries to operate, if anything for the excise tax revenue. Meanwhile, Canadian provinces have constitutional powers over commerce with respect to sales, so, giving into the demented demands of drys, each Canadian provincial government brought in its own provincial regime of no-sales.
This set up three interesting phenomena. One, we Canadians kept on churning out booze to slake the thirst of Americans (your prohibitionists were even more demented in setting up nationwide prohibition on manufacture, distribution and sale. Two, there was still plenty of domestic demand for booze in Canada, which Canadian breweries, distilleries and wineries were all too happy to meet. Three, which had some interplay with #2, prohibition and the threat of it becoming absolute saw brewers, in particular, branch out into other non-alcoholic beverage lines.
This gets us to this marvellous O'Keefe's bottle, as is reflects phenomena two and three. As to three, these bottles were used for distilled water (for the home and hotel trades) and for syrups for ginger ale, etc., as O'Keefe expanded into the pop business as another buttress against prohibition.
So how does #2 two come into play. Well, O'Keefe kept on brewing and used these bottles for beer for homesales. To understand how this worked legally, some quick geography: Quebec borders Ontario and Manitoba borders Ontario. If a thirsty Ontario resident contacted contacted a sales office in either Quebec or Manitoba, then the sale was technically made outside of Ontario and thus the beer could be shipped directly to the home from O'Keefe's brewery in Toronto. Once bordering provinces closed the sales loopholes in their own prohibitory laws, then, quite simply, the beer was shipped illegally to home buyers.
So there you have, a lot of history in one large bottle.