Small Archive Marking the End of Prohibition.

Baltimore: 1933.

Manuscript and typescript letters and notes, mostly 26.6 x 20.3 cm. Three typed letters and manuscript inventory compiled by Howard L. Belt of Baltimore, an import agent. The forty-three-page inventory or log tracks Belt’s incoming and outgoing correspondence regarding the importation and distribution of alcohol in the United States and notes the general subject of each letter’s content. Three letters, all referenced in the inventory, illustrate Belt’s relationship with exporter, client, and freight company, respectively: 2-page TLS, Bartlett H. Moore to Belt, Bordeaux, April 14, 1933; 4-page TL, Belt to Jacob Reicher, Baltimore, September 28, 1933; and 1-page TLS, S.N.T. Fratelli Gondrand to “Dear Sirs”, Milan, October 26, 1933. In this series of correspondence, French exporter Bartlett H. Moore negotiates with Belt the territory he can represent in the United States; Belt confers with client Jacob Reicher about available imports; and Fratelli Gondrand announces its readiness to ship freight to the US. These documents predate Prohibition’s repeal (December 5th, 1933) by just months and demonstrate the anticipation of liquor import businesses to re-engage the commercial market. Belt’s inventory notes the first letter to an exporter of “Grand Vins de France” was dated March 15, 1933 - a week before President Roosevelt signed the Cullen-Harrison Act into effect, allowing the sale of 3.2% proof alcoholic beer and wine. Also included are notes on individual markets in Maryland, Delaware and Virginia with population figures for each, and a list of government officials with a hand in liquor control. The handwritten inventory is three-hole punched throughout with some staple rust and chipping; correspondence with fold creases, chipping, edge wear, and minor staple rust, otherwise generally near very good.

Price: $350.00