The Face of Prostitution Past

The Face of Prostitution Past – hookers from WWII-era Montreal.

From the article:

In the first half of the 20th Century, Montreal, Canada, was known as the sex tourism capital of North America. Now, a new set of archive images reveals the faces behind that seedy industry.

Perhaps their knowing looks had to do with the fact that many of the officers who arrested them were crooked cops who were also their very own clients.

According to Dangerous Minds, Montreal became a sex tourist destination after World War I and during Prohibition, when Americans would drive north to fulfill their illicit needs in Canada.

Not only did the city abound in drinking dens, brothels and gambling houses, but because of its architecture and the language spoken there, it was viewed as an extension of Europe, making it something of ‘an exotic vacation.’

But following the end of Prohibition in 1933, as well as a sudden rise in cases of sexually transmitted disease, Montreal prostitutes lost their exotic allure and were instead seen as a force of corruption that needed to be stopped – publicly, at least.

Indeed, while raids were frequent and arrests were many in the 1940s, fines were low, and many prostitutes and brothel owners resumed business shortly after their handcuffs were taken off.


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