This Day in History: 1934-03-05
The sale of bottles of liquor containing less than a pint was forbidden in retail stores in New Jersey by order of Frederick Barnett, Commissioner of Alcoholic beverages. He stated that these so-called “nips” had “encouraged drunkenness and disorder”. Barnett recognized the advantages of selling these small quantities on trains or in taverns for immediate consumption since the purchaser could be sure of what he was getting. But in stores these bottles were often displayed with cigarettes at a price of two for 25 cents including sales that might never have taken place when someone came in for gum or candy. For the most part, he claimed, although they were not drunk on the premises, they were often gulped down at the door or on the sidewalk outside thus turning a retail store into a consumption business. Bottles littered the parks, and motorists complained of broken glass in the streets, he pointed out as he issued orders limiting the sale of liquor to bottles of a pint or more in retail stores.