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Juarez, Mexico - American Distiller Opens Plant Below Border, Introduces New Process to Age Certain Beverages Banned in U.S.

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

No Sound on Film | 1931

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TAMI Tags
  •  Workers inspect casks of alcohol 
  •  Man in middle with clipboard is likely bourbon distiller, Joseph L. Beam. After the start of prohibition, Beam was hired by the Dowling family (Mary Dowling) to disassemble the Waterfill & Frazier Distillery in Kentucky, reassemble it in Juarez, Mexico, and resume legal production of bourbon. Beam returned to Kentucky before the end of Prohibition to run for and serve two terms as Jailer of Nelson County. 
 
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This film helps illustrate the impact of prohibition upon border communities, 1920-1933. It is possible that the company featured in the film is that of Stillwater and Frazier, which began production in 1927 and continued through the 1970s under the name D&W. During prohibition, a number of bars and clubs previously located in El Paso moved over the border into Juarez.