By the mid-1920s, as Prohibition had been in place for several years with no sign of repeal, federal officials began to realize that they had a growing problem brewing underground, so to speak. While police had been rounding up the many gangs of male rum runners and bootleggers—the men who smuggled or transported illegal liquor across the border, or even just from one place to another—they had reason to believe that there was another, even more clandestine source of the illegal liquor transport in the country. And these bootleggers would be much harder to track down and much more complicated to search: women. They were wives, sisters and mothers, after all. And no one, quite literally, wanted to touch them.
In hindsight, the Prohibition was a big mistake, a terrible misread of human nature. The quest for a forbidden brew actually increased national consumptions by folds, showing bluntly that this law wasn’t working nor realistic.
It only takes a few look at historical photographs to discover how misplaced this law was and how far folks would go to circumvent it.