A blind pig, also known as a blind tiger, originated in the United States in the 1800s, when blue laws restricted the sale of alcoholic beverages. A saloonkeeper would charge customers to see an attraction (such as an animal), and provide a "complimentary" alcoholic beverage, thus circumventing the law.
It was during the years of prohibition that blind pigs were most common in the U.S.
Estimates of the number of blind pigs in some major U.S. cities in the mid-1920s are:
The blind pig is a classic example of black market economics, and with the end of prohibition in 1933 most blind pigs had to either become legitimate establishments or close shop. Common current examples of the blind pig include the after hours club and the keg party.
A blind pig differs from a speakeasy primarily in that it was essentially a "drinking only" establishment, whereas a speakeasy frequently offered music, dancing and a wide selection of food, too.