Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


Michigan Moonshine, Sin Tax and Pleasure Boating to Canada

The origin of stock car racing was the souped-up cars (and drivers) who eluded revenuers with fast and fancy driving over the hills and a trunk full of shine. That is Clem there on the left with a watchful eye on his still.

Here the state of Michigan promotes taxed liquor stores AND a stereotype of the hayseed moonshiner, rifle in hand, on a free book of matches presumably handed out at the state-sanctioned liquor store.

However, In Michigan, the rum-runners used boats! Many a fellow (and family) solved the depression blues with booze runs to Canada and back in their speedboats.

Decades later, as kids, we used to cross into Windsor still for their beer and cigarettes, both at the time superior to our own. A six-pack of Labatts was prized as the Canadians didn't use preservatives and sold it from state stores cold. Delicious. Their Players cigarettes were better too. Labatts was purchased and I presume ruined by Anheuser-Busch, and I am sure it isn't worth the drive anymore. American industry has a habit of eating upstarts and bringing their quality down to our own bland, flavorless size.

As for the smokes, If I did today, I'd roll my own. Who in their right mind would spend ten bucks for a pack of sticks? At that rate, it won't be long before folks start growing their own tobacco among the cornstalks instead of weed.

As you can see by this "public health" match book cover, moonshine was bad for you. "Clem is here...NAME YOUR POISON!" Of course, so was the "real" stuff (the kind the state took a cut from instead of organized crime) but at least it would poison you slowly. You could be fairly sure it wouldn't kill you for twenty years or so, and each fifth you consumed would help fill the state coffers.

The sin tax was good for you...how to you think those roads for Detroit's cars were created?

Other matches are HERE and HERE

Anti- Moonshine Matchbook 1935 Collection Jim Linderman


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