Jump to Navigation

Carry A. Nation - Introduction

Carry Nation  lecture poster

The Famous and Original
Bar Room Smasher

In 1901 Carry A. Nation became a household name.

People across the country came to know her best for her anti-alcohol, saloon-smashing campaign. Although her efforts were sometimes ridiculed, Nation actually was part of a much larger movement of women who believed alcohol destroyed families.

Some dismissed her as a crank with extreme views. But behind the image of an angry crusader with a hatchet was a woman who inspired many followers.

Carry A. Nation: The Famous and Original Bar Room Smasher is an online exhibit addressing the reformer's life and times. It is a companion piece to Sinners and Saints: Vice and Reform in Kansas. Both displays were developed by the Kansas Museum of History.

This tour is divided into eight sections plus a timeline and a curriculum. Click on the first link below to embark on your exhibit tour, or visit them in any order.

  1. How Well Do You Know Carry Nation? - Fun quiz.
  2. Hatchetations and Home Defenders - Why reformers smashed saloons.
  3. Paying the Bills - Selling hatchet pins, buttons, and newsletters.
  4. Taking on the Role of Crusader - Personal tragedies in Nation's life.
  5. Other Crusades - Women's health, woman suffrage, and anti-smoking.
  6. An International Figure - People all over the world followed Nation's work.
  7. She Hath Done What She Could - Final days in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
  8. An American Icon - Carry Nation is a household name today.
  9. Temperance Timeline - Timeline of alcohol reform.