Waterways of Innovation: The Marine Technological Advancements of America's Prohibition Era

Author/s: Charles Samuel Bowdoin, MA
Availability: Open Access
Type: Thesis
Year: 2016

Abstract: Prohibition opened the door to the United States for individuals or groups to smuggle alcohol by waterways. These people came from all walks of life and were known as rumrunners. The United States Coast Guard was charged with upholding the law and preventing any alcohol from reaching the American shore. This brought the two groups into constant conflict with each other. Each side continually modified their technology in accordance to their needs and associated economic factors in efforts to gain the upper hand. These maritime innovations caused an escalation in innovations between the two opposing forces, resulting in a rapid advancement of maritime technology that would not likely have been attained during normal times of trade. Designers and builders implemented the most successful of these innovations into later vessels.

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