The speakeasies of the 1920s were the only places people were able to get a hold of alcoholic beverages. The name speakeasy came from the manner the customers would order an alcoholic drink without raising suspicion—bartenders would tell patrons to be quiet and “speak easy. Many of them were owned by or connected to organized crime. Although the police would raid speakeasies frequently, people continued to take part in the highly lucrative business deals. Often the owners of such bars would pay of corrupt police and mayors to either leave the bars alone or to worn them before a raid.
Speakeasies were also known as "blind pigs" or "blind tigers." This was because the operator of one of these establishment would charge customers to see an attraction (such as an animal) and then serve a “complimentary” alcoholic beverage, thus circumventing the law. The difference between a speakeasy and a blind pig was that a speakeasy was usually a higher-class establishment that offered food, music, or entertainment, or even all three. In large cities, some speakeasies even required a coat and tie for men, and evening dress for women. But a blind pig was usually a low-class dive where only beer and liquor were offered.
Connie's Inn, a major speakeasy of the 1920's and 1930's.
Men drinking in a "Blind Pig," or speakeasy.
A flapper hides a flask in her garters. Those who frequented speakeasies usually brought their own liquor with them, transporting it in their coat pockets, purses, or, as this woman demonstrates, in their stockings!
Police raid a speakeasy.
Law enforcement agents confiscate and destroy alcohol.
Men drink in a speakeasy.
Read here about a speakeasy in New York.