Our notorious Rum Runner heroine, Gertrude Lythgoe, grew up as the youngest of ten siblings with parents of English and Scottish descent. She lost her mother at a young age and was orphaned for years before reuniting with her father. During this difficult time Gertrude grew into a beautiful young lady but clever to boot!
She was determined to make something of herself and so grew her risk taker attitude!
Gertie worked as a Stenographer in New York and California before finding herself at a British exporter’s stateside liquor office. With the passing of Prohibition laws there was huge opportunity to supply liquor to the US through the Bahamas. Being a woman with brains, beauty and breath taking fury she initiated these liquor sale transactions with potential buyers and oversaw shipments.
It was during this time that she found herself alongside Willian (Bill) McCoy, Prohibitions most notorious rum runner. She sailed upon his ship with a boat laden with her company’s liquor.
She never returned to her employer in the States.
This empowering, playful and eccentric American woman lead the rum revolution and Gertie became the first woman to hold a wholesale liquor license.
A rum running female during the 1920 Prohibition era despite it being a male dominant world. The Prohibition had been characterised by means of racial tension, growing anti-communism, heavy influence of media and mass marketing as well as changing roles of women in a quickly modernising society; Gertie rose above it all and conquered.