West Virginia enacted prohibition on July 1, 1914 — almost six years before the nation did. As you might imagine, it didn’t go well. Enforcement was nearly impossible, with bootlegging, speakeasies, and an increase in “medicinal” uses of alcohol. But it also led to unemployment. Bookkeepers and drivers, keg barrel makers and glass bottle producers — all of them were left without jobs when the Yost Act took effect. This end of an era coincided with the retirement and death of its leading brewer, Henry Schmulbach.
“Henry: The Life and Legacy of Wheeling’s Most Notorious Brewer” is a podcast by Wheeling Heritage Media. The podcast examines Henry Schmulbach, a German brewer in Wheeling, whose life touched on important themes in the city, including immigration, politics, industrialization and crime.