Jersey Spirits: Prohibition from Flappers to Bootleggers

September 18 - December 11, 2016

Exhibition Overview

Step back in time to a period of flappers and suffragists, bootleggers and leaders of the temperance movement. Jersey Spirits is an exhibition about the tumultuous Prohibition era in the Garden State. The show explores how local figures boldly produced, smuggled, and sold alcohol during the years of 1920 to 1933. It also delves into the moral, religious, and political sentiments that shaped America’s “noble experiment” and considers how the horrors of excessive drinking and the cry for social reform fueled the Temperance and Suffragist Movements.

Visitors to Jersey Spirits will experience the battle between the “wets” and the “dries” through:

  • Fashions of the Roaring 20s including flapper dresses, hairstyles, and cigarette holders
  • Authentic barware and flasks
  • Historic photographs
  • Propaganda materials
  • Music, dance, literature, and films of the era

“The prohibition law, written for weaklings and derelicts, has divided the nation, like Gaul, into three parts – wets, drys and hypocrites”

Florence R. Sabin
American Scientist


Supported in part by a Grant from the New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism.