What did Canadian prostitutes of the 1940s look like

What did Canadian prostitutes of the 1940s look like

Categories: History | North America | Society

In the first half of the XX century, the Canadian city of Montreal was known as the capital of sex tourism in North America. Recently, archival photos of prostitutes from the 40s who served clients when war raged around the world were found.

At that time, Canadian Montreal was called a place of debauchery: some people were disgusted by it, while others were attracted by the opportunity to come to the city and immerse themselves in the atmosphere of total fornication. Today's image of a prostitute is fundamentally different from how they looked 70-80 years ago — they were mostly "mature", drunk women 40-50 years old.

What did Canadian prostitutes of the 1940s look like

What did Canadian prostitutes of the 1940s look like

The abundance of brothels, brothels and gambling houses has made Montreal a real capital of exotic holidays.

In 1933, prohibition was abolished in the United States. Immediately after that, Montreal began to lose its former attractiveness — the influx of tourists from the United States decreased. In 1940, the city authorities began to actively fight corruption and illegal business in Montreal, which led to the arrest of many prostitutes.

What did Canadian prostitutes of the 1940s look like

You can see that these women tried to look fashionable: heavily plucked eyebrows, curled hair and brightly painted lips. In the photos there are also influential owners of brothels in Montreal.

What did Canadian prostitutes of the 1940s look like

Madame Lillian Brown (Ida Katz) is one of the three most influential brothel owners at that time.

In the 1930s, there were about 5 thousand registered prostitutes in this Canadian city, and about 15 thousand more worked part-time selling bodies from time to time.

What did Canadian prostitutes of the 1940s look like

Two hours with a prostitute in the mid‑1930s cost 5 American dollars — today this amount is equivalent to 80-85 dollars.

What did Canadian prostitutes of the 1940s look like

Annie Parker, arrested in 1941.

Once again, it is worth clarifying that the 1930s were the time of the Great Depression, which also affected Canada. Having two clients a day, a prostitute in Montreal then provided herself with a quite comfortable life.

What did Canadian prostitutes of the 1940s look like

Jeanine Lebrun, a maid by profession, was arrested for running a brothel.

However, even big money at that time could not tempt young girls from traditional families to go to the panel, no matter what financial difficulties they experienced.

What did Canadian prostitutes of the 1940s look like

Prostitution in those years was the lot of marginals, rejected by society women — drinkers, former prisoners, disabled people, as well as representatives of the bohemians (who were also at the very bottom in the hierarchy of traditional society). The average age of a prostitute at that time was 40-45 years.

What did Canadian prostitutes of the 1940s look like

These portraits of Montreal prostitutes of the early 1940s got into the files of the local police after the women committed any crimes related to prostitution in one way or another.

What did Canadian prostitutes of the 1940s look like

What did Canadian prostitutes of the 1940s look like

What did Canadian prostitutes of the 1940s look like

What did Canadian prostitutes of the 1940s look like

What did Canadian prostitutes of the 1940s look like

What did Canadian prostitutes of the 1940s look like

Keywords: North America | History | Canada | Prostitutes | Women | Prostitution | Society | Portraits

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