The Mob Museum Adds New Artifact ·

The Mob Museum Adds New Artifact: Vintage Phone Booth with Capone Ties

The Mob Museum, the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, announces the addition of its newest artifact, now on view in The Underground, a Prohibition exhibition space. A phone booth from the Four Deuces, a club located in the Levee vice district south of downtown Chicago is now on display in the basement of the Museum. Named after its address, 2222 S. Wabash Avenue, the Four Deuces served as the headquarters of the Chicago Outfit, the crime syndicate run by Johnny Torrio and eventually by his protégé, Al Capone, in the early 1920s.

Torrio assigned Capone as manager and enforcer at the Four Deuces. The building had four floors – the saloon and their offices on the first, gambling and prostitution on the upper floors.

Al Capone put in a furniture shop next door to the Four Deuces as a front. His business card read: “A. Capone, Antique Dealer.” The merchandise was strictly secondhand junk, and if someone actually called about buying furniture, Capone would reply: “We ain’t open today.”

In 1923, Torrio and Capone moved their main offices to the Hawthorne Inn in Cicero, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. But Capone, using the alias “Al Brown,” still operated the Four Deuces, often parking his Cadillac across the street.

“This artifact’s ties to one of organized crime’s most infamous syndicates makes it an important addition to the Museum’s collection,” said Geoff Schumacher, senior director of content, The Mob Museum. “Through this exhibit, we provide a glimpse into the criminal enterprises that plagued the cities where Mob figures warred with one another to secure their share of the Prohibition era’s illegal liquor trade.”

By 1931, the Four Deuces had been the site of 12 unsolved gangland murders. Capone and his henchmen used the building’s basement to torture and kill their victims, then dispose of the bodies through a rear trap door.

The phone booth was removed from the Four Deuces before the building was demolished in 1966. It resided in the home of Chicago television personality Bruce Newton for more than 30 years. The Mob Museum acquired the phone booth in 2019.

For more information, please call (702) 229-2734 or visit Admission to the speakeasy is included with general Museum admission and free any time for patrons using the daily password found on Instagram stories @MobMuseum_Underground.

About The Underground
The Underground is an immersive Prohibition history exhibition, featuring a distillery, speakeasy and private VIP room located in the basement of The Mob Museum and sponsored by Zappos. Its custom-made, copper-pot still, dubbed “Virginia Still” after mobster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel’s notorious girlfriend Virginia Hill, has a capacity of 60 gallons and can serve up to 250 750-mL jars of moonshine per week. The Underground also brews and serves craft beer onsite. Artifacts from the 1920s and 1930s on display tell the intriguing story of the Prohibition era, which not only saw a proliferation of bootlegged booze and the meteoric growth of organized crime outfits, but also had a profound, lasting impact on society and culture. Complimentary entrance to The Underground is granted at the secret side entrance to visitors who know the correct password, which is published daily on Instagram Stories @MobMuseum_Underground.

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