Museum of the American Gangster

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Dedicated to Organized Crime and American History.

Museum Information:
Location, Hours, Contact Info

Scenes such as this game of craps were common along the Lower East side. Gambling and games of chance would influence gangsters like Lucky Luciano to get involved in the mafia lifestyle at an early age. Money was there to be made, or lost, on the toss of the dice.
Image from: http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgkeysearchdetail.cfm?trg=1&strucID=710330&imageID=812882&total=86&num=40&word=gambling&s=1&notword=&d=&c=&f=&k=0&lWord=&lField=&sScope=&sLevel=&sLabel=&sort=&imgs=20&pos=44&e=w

Scenes such as this game of craps were common along the Lower East side. Gambling and games of chance would influence gangsters like Lucky Luciano to get involved in the mafia lifestyle at an early age. Money was there to be made, or lost, on the toss of the dice.

Image from: http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgkeysearchdetail.cfm?trg=1&strucID=710330&imageID=812882&total=86&num=40&word=gambling&s=1&notword=&d=&c=&f=&k=0&lWord=&lField=&sScope=&sLevel=&sLabel=&sort=&imgs=20&pos=44&e=w

A group of women in the 1920s enjoy a refreshing drink straight from the bottle. While women, especially those of the Protestant faith, were one of the driving forces behind Prohibition, not every woman was on board with that message, as seen here.
Image from: http://www.corbisimages.com/stock-photo/rights-managed/42-28443104/women-drink-together-ca-1920?popup=1

A group of women in the 1920s enjoy a refreshing drink straight from the bottle. While women, especially those of the Protestant faith, were one of the driving forces behind Prohibition, not every woman was on board with that message, as seen here.

Image from: http://www.corbisimages.com/stock-photo/rights-managed/42-28443104/women-drink-together-ca-1920?popup=1

Abe ‘Kid Twist’ Reles and Albert Tannenbaum Testifying in the Murder of Irving Penn
Albert Tannenbaum (left) and Abe “Kid Twist” Reles arrive to testify before the Bronx Grand Jury about the ‘mistake murder’ of Irving Penn, a music publisher that was mistaken for a union man and was killed by mobster associates of Tannenbaum and Reles. Tannenbaum and Reles were two of the most feared hitman in the “Murder, Inc.” mob group, but in 1940 they both faced trial on several murders and chose to become government informants to avoid trial and execution. Partially as a result of the testimony of Reles, Tannenbaum and eight others, mob boss Louis ‘Lepke’ Buchalter was indicted, convicted, and later executed, by the New York State government.

Date Photographed:
January 03, 1941

Image and information from: http://www.corbisimages.com/stock-photo/rights-managed/U923424INP/abe-kid-twist-reles-and-albert-tannenbaum?popup=1

Abe ‘Kid Twist’ Reles and Albert Tannenbaum Testifying in the Murder of Irving Penn

Albert Tannenbaum (left) and Abe “Kid Twist” Reles arrive to testify before the Bronx Grand Jury about the ‘mistake murder’ of Irving Penn, a music publisher that was mistaken for a union man and was killed by mobster associates of Tannenbaum and Reles. Tannenbaum and Reles were two of the most feared hitman in the “Murder, Inc.” mob group, but in 1940 they both faced trial on several murders and chose to become government informants to avoid trial and execution. Partially as a result of the testimony of Reles, Tannenbaum and eight others, mob boss Louis ‘Lepke’ Buchalter was indicted, convicted, and later executed, by the New York State government.

Original caption:9/3/1928-Woman wearing floppy overcoat (Left) which conceals two tins of booze strapped to her thighs (Right).


Date Photographed:
September 03, 1928

Image and information from: http://www.corbisimages.com/stock-photo/rights-managed/BE043601/woman-modeling-thigh-flasks?popup=1

Original caption:9/3/1928-Woman wearing floppy overcoat (Left) which conceals two tins of booze strapped to her thighs (Right).

Date Photographed:
September 03, 1928

Image and information from: http://www.corbisimages.com/stock-photo/rights-managed/BE043601/woman-modeling-thigh-flasks?popup=1

Staunch dry preachers had the pesky notion that everyone should be bone dry sober and like it. As seen in this early 20th century postcard, those he preached to had other ideas.
"A Deacon who preached Prohibition To a bad city went on a mission, In his tea they put rum, he got loaded, By Gum! And returned in this awful condition."
Image from: http://www.corbisimages.com/stock-photo/rights-managed/QG001322/postcard-of-drunken-deacon?popup=1

Staunch dry preachers had the pesky notion that everyone should be bone dry sober and like it. As seen in this early 20th century postcard, those he preached to had other ideas.

"A Deacon who preached Prohibition To a bad city went on a mission, In his tea they put rum, he got loaded, By Gum! And returned in this awful condition."

Image from: http://www.corbisimages.com/stock-photo/rights-managed/QG001322/postcard-of-drunken-deacon?popup=1

Four flappers circa 1925 are photographed here lined up against the wall and imbibing what some staunch Prohibitionists would of called, “The Devil’s Drink.”
Image from: http://www.corbisimages.com/stock-photo/rights-managed/42-31449331/flapper-women-drink-in-unison-ca-1925?popup=1

Four flappers circa 1925 are photographed here lined up against the wall and imbibing what some staunch Prohibitionists would of called, “The Devil’s Drink.”

Image from: http://www.corbisimages.com/stock-photo/rights-managed/42-31449331/flapper-women-drink-in-unison-ca-1925?popup=1

Aftermath of the Valentine’s Day Massacre of February 14, 1929. Seven members of the O’Banion Moran gang were trapped in a warehouse, lined up against the wall, and shot to death. According to the Chicago Police department the cause of the murders was the illicit gangster controlled liquor traffic in Chicago during Prohibition.


Date Photographed:
February 14, 1929

Image and information from: http://www.corbisimages.com/stock-photo/rights-managed/BE067896/victims-of-st-valentines-day-massacre?popup=1

Aftermath of the Valentine’s Day Massacre of February 14, 1929. Seven members of the O’Banion Moran gang were trapped in a warehouse, lined up against the wall, and shot to death. According to the Chicago Police department the cause of the murders was the illicit gangster controlled liquor traffic in Chicago during Prohibition.

Date Photographed:
February 14, 1929

Image and information from: http://www.corbisimages.com/stock-photo/rights-managed/BE067896/victims-of-st-valentines-day-massacre?popup=1

Original caption:10/23/1926-What appeared to be an innocent truckload of lumber, turned out to be a bootlegger’s vehicle loaded with prime scotch when the Los Angeles Federal Prohibition Agents smelled the odor of a broken bottle. Investigation disclosed a cleverly concealed trapdoor of board ends leading to the interior, from which 70 cases of liquor were taken. The device is said to be the most ingenious ever caught here.

Date Photographed:
October 23, 1926

Image and information from: http://www.corbisimages.com/stock-photo/rights-managed/BE044586/prohibition-agents-inspecting-bootleggers-truck

Original caption:10/23/1926-What appeared to be an innocent truckload of lumber, turned out to be a bootlegger’s vehicle loaded with prime scotch when the Los Angeles Federal Prohibition Agents smelled the odor of a broken bottle. Investigation disclosed a cleverly concealed trapdoor of board ends leading to the interior, from which 70 cases of liquor were taken. The device is said to be the most ingenious ever caught here.

Date Photographed:
October 23, 1926

Image and information from: http://www.corbisimages.com/stock-photo/rights-managed/BE044586/prohibition-agents-inspecting-bootleggers-truck

This stock certificate was issued and signed by mobster, Bugsy Siegel for his Nevada Project Corporation. Bugsy, of course, is known for his ties to the start up of Las Vegas as the then gambling capital of the United States. Unfortunately for Bugsy, his mismanagement of mafia funds led to him being killed in a hit.
Information and image from: http://issuu.com/rrauction/docs/gangsters/76?mode=a_p

This stock certificate was issued and signed by mobster, Bugsy Siegel for his Nevada Project Corporation. Bugsy, of course, is known for his ties to the start up of Las Vegas as the then gambling capital of the United States. Unfortunately for Bugsy, his mismanagement of mafia funds led to him being killed in a hit.

Information and image from: http://issuu.com/rrauction/docs/gangsters/76?mode=a_p