AUTHENTIC Chicago Prohibition Era Speakeasy Gambling Table

In the summer of 2006, this Authentic 1926 Prohibition Era Speakeasy Gambling Table, complete with Forensic Examiners Documents, was found in an abandoned barn.

Prohibition Era Speakeasy Gambling Table

It was found in several pieces since the Chicago police at that time (circa 1926) axed all the tables in the basements of Chicago speakeasies. One side of the table shows a normal drinking table, still with the axe marks. The other side of the table is accented with felt which is what’s used for gambling, complete with slots for cash, chips and card holders.

Prohibition Era Speakeasy Gambling TableProhibition in the U.S. was a nationwide constitutional ban on the sale, production, importation, and transportation of alcoholic beverages that remained in place from 1920 to 1933. It was promoted by the “dry” crusaders, a movement led by rural Protestants and social Progressives in the Democratic and Republican parties, and was coordinated by the Anti-Saloon League, and the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union.

Gone were the boardwalks, swinging doors, spittoons, and all about the saloon era. During Prohibition, speakeasies were the go-to places. Speakeasies are bars that disguised themselves in numerous creative ways. Generally before a thirsty patron could cross the illegal threshold, a password, a specific handshake or a secret knock was required. With stiff competition from numerous establishments, many of the speakeasies provided music—popularization of jazz music—for their patrons. Where there is music, there is dancing, and there will be women.

Aside from prostitution, gambling also flourished in speakeasies. To supply these many illegal establishments with liquor and to keep the prostitution and gambling business going, organization was required, hence the birth of organized crimes.

Prohibition Era Speakeasy Gambling Table

Into this crime-ripe environment walked such characters as Al Capone in Chicago, the Purple Gang of Detroit, Lucky Luciano in New York, and hundreds of others. The largest majority of speakeasies were established and controlled by organized crime, who opened everything from plush nightclubs to dark and smoky basement taverns.

Though raids became a daily federal past time, law enforcement couldn’t keep up. When the enforcers were successful in targeting a “gin joint,” the anticipating club owners, were often able to disguise the true intent of their businesses as elaborate alarms were installed, and their illegal contraband hidden in drop-shelves and secret cabinets. Most gambling tables are disguised as normal tables; only when flipped over would they be showing their true use.

Prohibition Era Speakeasy Gambling Table

It was believed that in one of those raids had this Prohibition Era Speakeasy Gambling Table axed and is also thought of to be the only one left in existence. It was restored by a professional company to bring back its original beauty.

Auction for this Authentic 1926 Prohibition Era Speakeasy Gambling Table is from 10/19 to 10/26 only.



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