collection 09

A Hard Days Night

Smiling Prostitutes of the ’40s


Nature’s oldest profession, prostitution, can be rough life. Some women today, touting their feminist beliefs, enjoy it and make a lot of money in places like Las Vegas, where the trade is legal. These female mugshots, found amongst several hundred other ones from the 1940s, were chosen because they were smiling. It’s as if they knew the officers arresting them, and were happy to get their picture made as long as they could get back on the street and back to work. 


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A hard man is good to find.
— Mae West