Shipping box, Concannon Vineyards, 1929


This cardboard shipping box held 24 bottles of the 1929 vintage Angelica wine from Concannon Vineyards in Livermore, California. It has two tax stamps affixed to the front, indicating that taxes had been paid on the wine.

The 1929 vintage would have been produced at the height of Prohibition in the United States. National Prohibition, the 18th amendment to the Constitution, was passed by Congress in January 1919 to prohibit the manufacture, transport, sale, export, and import of alcoholic beverages in the United States. Lasting almost 14 years (Repeal took effect on December 5, 1933), Prohibition had a tremendously negative impact on the American wine industry. Yet this Angelica was produced legally during Prohibition, due to an exception in the law, which permitted certain wineries to make wines for sacramental and medicinal purposes. The Concannon family made altar wine for the Catholic Church during this period.

Concannon Vineyards was established by James Concannon, a native of County Galway, Ireland, who arrived in Boston in 1865 and San Francisco in 1878. As a rubber stamp salesman whose territory extended into Canada and Mexico, he was a well-traveled entrepreneur. In 1883 he bought 47 acres of land in California’s Livermore Valley and established vineyards there, with a winery to follow in 1895. James’s son Joseph took over the business and kept it going through Prohibition. By the 1950s another generation—Joseph Jr. and James (Jim)—were running the company. Although the winery has been owned by the Wente family since 1992, the Concannon family is still very much involved in the management of the operation. John Concannon is now the fourth generation vintner at his family’s historic vineyards and winery.

Location: Currently not on view

See more items in: Work and Industry: Food Technology, Food


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of James and John Concannon

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2014.0095.04Catalog Number: 2014.0095.04Accession Number: 2014.0095

Object Name: box

Physical Description: cardboard (overall material)Measurements: overall: 11 3/4 in x 16 5/8 in x 10 5/8 in; 29.845 cm x 42.2275 cm x 26.9875 cm


Record Id: nmah_1464580

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