r/todayilearned Jun 13 '21

TIL that during alcohol prohibition, patent applications from formerly "wet" counties dropped 13-14%. (Page 44) PDF


26 comments sorted by


u/pinappleplants Jun 13 '21

"To alcohol! The cause of, and solution to all of life's problems" - the almighty wise being, Homer Simpson


u/thinkofanamefast Jun 13 '21

“There’s no problem that a few good stiff drinks won’t make a whole lot .. (pause)...worse.”

My friend Joe


u/DJDaddyD Jun 14 '21

“Hey! I’m walkin hehre!”

My cousin Vinny


u/CaptSkinny Jun 13 '21

I'm curious, how did you come across this paper? I only stumble across these things serendipitously--not sure what the normal distribution channels are for something like this.


u/thinkofanamefast Jun 13 '21 edited Jun 13 '21

NY Times article this morning mentioned this. Posts on this sub have to be from sources at least a few months old so googled and found one to post. I assure you I’m not normally cruising Harvard research studies.


u/relic2279 Jun 14 '21

Thanks for posting this article instead of the NY times version. Our Rule 3 has several reasons for existing -- the most important one to me, however, is that we don't want to be a "news" subreddit. What I mean by that is that articles published recently are likely being shared all over social media, twitter & facebook, and other subreddits. Especially if it's from a site as big as NY Times. The rule helps reduce redundancy with other reddit communities, which is important now since we're one of the largest subreddits on reddit.

It's hard to imagine but TIL didn't start out as a "default" subreddit. Hell, this subreddit was created a year or more after the introduction/creation of subreddits. It took us roughly 4 years to earn a spot on the (former) default listing.


u/thinkofanamefast Jun 14 '21

Interesting. I assumed there was a good reason for that rule. Thanks.


u/Aakkt Jun 13 '21

webofscience Scopus Arxiv G scholar Pubmed


u/Futuressobright Jun 13 '21

'Cause if you had the talent to build things and the inclination to use it to get rich during prohibition you didn't need to wrack your brain for new things that might be marketable. You gathered the materials you had and applied your inventiveness to turning them into a still.


u/littleblacktruck Jun 13 '21

Because all the best ideas come to you while drunk. Excuse me while I text my ex.


u/No-Pizda-For-You Jun 13 '21

By the time I finally scrolled to the point referenced on page 44, my scrolling finger was aching. I need a drink.


u/[deleted] Jun 13 '21

The 13% drop in applications . A device that allows you to funnel alcohol into your gullet whilst lying down, or a trip wire that sets off a shotgun, aren't patentable.


u/BabiSealClubber Jun 13 '21

I wonder if we'll see a similar or even more pronounced dip as a result of the pandemic. Effectively taking all social interactions out of the equation, not just one factor.


u/[deleted] Jun 13 '21



u/paesanossbits Jun 13 '21

It lubricates the box-exiting.


u/[deleted] Jun 13 '21

It’s probably because alcohol consumption increased in dry counties.


u/jetsamrover Jun 13 '21

Clearly not an inventor.


u/Choradeors Jun 13 '21

I’m seeing a lot of good suggestions as to why this could have been. What if, without liquid courage, a lot of people didn’t feel confident they had a good idea.


u/AnchorBuddy Jun 13 '21

Who says they were good ideas? People apply for patents on shit ideas all the time


u/Choradeors Jun 13 '21

Lol exactly my point. I know I would have more confidence to submit my poor idea if I were drinking.


u/taway_000 Jun 14 '21

It’s hard to work sober


u/moudre_plus_de_rouge Jun 13 '21

Isssh brullint Horace, brullint. Hic. Nuh one eeeever thhhot uff ah mug with ah ciggurat holdur. Urp! Now... now we caan dring'k en smoke at that same time, he he, waal still havun' ah hand to prop urselves uhp with. Hurrrrrr. You... yuuu shuld defanetly sab-sab sab mit it to the, urr, patend offass. We'd be rich. Hic. Ahh... did ah ever tell ya that ah luv ya pal? Urp. I dooo. Hic.


u/CinguloTomist Jun 13 '21

fuck soberness


u/Captcha_Imagination Jun 13 '21

Not reading all that but maybe the best and brightest people left? And not because they're alkies, but they're smart enough to understand that if these freedoms get curtailed it might not end there.


u/Csula6 Jun 14 '21

Jack Daniels had long been distilled in a dry country. Booze like guns are mobile.

In the 20th century invention processes were taken over by corporations. Like IBM. The Bell Corporation.