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The 1912 US 'Ban' in action: 10 cases shipped 6 days late.

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Explanation:Food Inspection Decision No. 147, (the 1912 US 'absinthe ban') prohibited the shipment of absinthe across state lines.This shipment was reportedly made 'on or about Oct 7' and the ban was active as of Oct. 1stHere is a quote of the text of the document:NOTICE OF JUDGMENT NO. 2403.(Given pursuant to section 4 of the Food and Drugs Act.)ADULTERATION  OF ABSINTHE.On November 17, 1912, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, acting upon a report by the Secretary of Agri- culture, filed in the District Court of the United States for said district a libel for the seizure and condemnation of 10 cases, each containing 12 bottles of absinthe, remaining unsold in the original unbroken packages and in possession of J Simon & Sons, St Louis, Mo., alleging that the product had been shipped on or about October 7, 1912, from the State of Illinois into the State of Missouri, and charging adulteration in violation of the Food and Drugs Act. The product was labeled: (On cases) "Glass—This side up— Absinthe— J. Simon & Sons, St. Louis, Mo." (On bottles) "Absinthe Quality Superieure Absinthe—Green—Natural Color—Guaranteed by us under Serial No. 21913.    Arrow Distilleries Co.    Peoria, Ills."Adulteration of the product was alleged in the libel for the reason that it contained wormwood, an added deleterious ingredient which rendered it injurious to health. It was further alleged that by the provisions of Food Inspection Decision No. 147 the importation, manufacture, and sale of absinthe in the District of Columbia, or the shipment of absinthe in interstate commerce would be considered on and after October 1, 1912, a violation of said Act of Congress, and said decision was duly issued and promulgated on July 25, 1912.On January 8, 1913, no claimant having appeared for the property, judgment of condemnation and forfeiture was entered, and it was further ordered that the product should be destroyed by the United States marshal.WILLIS L. MOORE, Acting Secretary of Agriculture.WASHINGTON, D. C, March 3, 1913.91708°—No. 2403—13

The document is available in pdf and other formats here:



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Follow up:

I wouldn't look to hard for a taste of pre-ban absinthe made by Arrow Distillery of Peoria, Ill.

The distillery does not look like it had a good reputation back in the day:



Some of those violations seem minor, some are more serious.

I Think Arrow was taken over later by Hiram-Walker, but not sure. Another distillery called Arrow existed in Michigan.

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Nice resource. I found this notice, which is basically for the importation of Swiss faux-sinthe!


5153. Adulteration and misbranding of fluid extract for Swiss liquor.
U.S. v. Antonio Valsecehi. Plea of guilty. Fine, $5.
(F. & D. No. 7472. I. S. No. 17840-k.)

On June 22,1916, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, acting upon a report by the Secretary of Agriculture, filed in the District Court of the United States for said district, an information against Antonio Valsecehi, New York, N. Y., alleging shipment by said defendant, in violation of the Food and Drugs Act, on January 15, 1915, from the State of New York into the State of Utah, of a quantity of an article labeled in part: " Fluid Extract for Swiss Liquor," which was adulterated and misbranded.



Analysis of a sample of the article by the Bureau of Chemistry of this department showed the following results:


Ethyl alcohol (per cent by volume) 4.9
Methyl alcohol (per cent by volume)66.1
Essential oil (per cent by volume)29.6
Total solids (mostly dye) (grams per 100 cc) 1. 6



Product consists essentially of a solution of oil of wormwood with a small amount of oil of peppermint in methyl alcohol, and is colored dark green with a prohibited coal-tar dye.


Adulteration of the article was alleged in the information for the reason that a certain substance, to wit, methyl alcohol, had been mixed and packed therewith so as to reduce, lower, and injuriously affect its quality and strength; and for the further reason that it contained an added poisonous and deleterious ingredient, to wit, methyl alcohol, which might render it injurious to health.



Misbranding was alleged for the reason that the article consisted of food in package form, and the quantity of the contents was not plainly and conspicuously marked on the outside of the package in terms of weight, measure, or numerical count.


On November 13, 1916, the defendant entered a plea of guilty to the information, and the court imposed a fine of $5.

CARL VEOOMAN, Acting Secretary of Agriculture, BUREAU OF CHEMISTRY.

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