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is interesting to see these small details from history, we first thought that this may have been some sort of clothing trend as the roaring 1920s was a crazy period for America. However, wearing cow hoofs has a lot more history than you would think behind it and it is all linked with the biggest event in America during that time, the prohibition of alcohol.

The prohibition of alcohol took place from 1920 to 1933 for a couple of reasons, such as:

  • Reducing taxes
  • Reducing corruption and crime in the U.S.
  • Improve the health of citizens
  • Solving other social problems created by alcoholics

During this period of time, no company or person was allowed to produce nor import/sell alcohol of any kind. However, people were so addicted to it that they found a way around it. The main problem was alcohol manufacturers that were suffering from this prohibition. Most of them were losing big time and they knew that something had to be done as the demand for alcohol in America was at an all-time high.

Detroit Police in a clandestine brewery during the prohibition era (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

That is why alcohol producers and even other criminal organizations (such as the mafia) started producing alcohol in very remote places. The government knew that it was only a matter of time before someone started producing and selling alcohol, which is why they put all the police stations in the nation on alert.

Knowing this, those who were producing alcohol had to take a lot of care to not leave any trace, not even a footprint to the whereabouts of the illegal production line. That is the reason why many of them started wearing cow hoofs, making the police think that the remote location where the alcohol was produced was only inhabited by animals.

Sole of a shoe in the form of a cow hoof from the 1920s (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

However, in 1922, this tactic — used mainly by the mafia — was unveiled to the public by an article written in the Evening Independent newspaper, describing in detail the exact use of the shoe soles with cow hoofs. Rumors have it that the information was sold to the media by another criminal organization that had had some falling out with the Chicago mafia in the illegal production of alcohol.

After 1922, those producing alcohol during the prohibition era had to come up with different ways, as well as locations, to produce alcohol, and to sell it. The main place where alcohol was sold at that time was speakeasies. These were underground, private clubs that would mainly focus on the selling of illegal products during the 1920s such as drugs and alcohol.

In the early 1930s, the government saw that the prohibition of alcohol created more problems than solving them, which is why it ended. This is the reason why in today’s society class-A drugs are such a high factor in crime rates around the world. Their illegality means that some people are willing to pay an astronomical amount of money to consume them.

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