Vintage sex guide about Philadelphia from 1849 gives an overview of the ‘best 10,000 ladies and working girls in the city’
‘City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection’: Vintage sex guide about Philadelphia from 1849 lists the ‘best 10,000 ladies and working girls of the city’ who work in brothels
- In 1849 an anonymous author wrote A Guide to the Stranger, or Pocket Companion for the Fancy … “
- The guide offered a list of “gay homes” and “ladies of pleasure” in Philadelphia
- The pamphlet mentioned reviews of brothels and bed houses, or rooms rented by the hour, at that time
- Guide contains names and addresses of hospitals and women as well as the quality of the “services” offered
- The pamphlet even contained a map that was littered with brothel locations
A pamphlet published in 1849 provides a guide to the “gay homes” and brothels of Philadelphia, including reviews that rate “the best ladies and working girls” who “can make a man happy.”
The pamphlet is entitled A Guide for the Stranger, or Pocket Companion for the Fancy, with a list of gay homes and ladies of pleasure in the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection.
It offers a ‘correct list and description of most of the Houses of Ill-Fame in Philadelphia’.
Although it refers to “gay homes,” the word “gay” is used in this case to convey “pleasure” and “joyful” rather than “gay.”
According to Flashbak, the pamphlet contained reviews of brothels and bed houses or rooms that were rented by the hour.
A pamphlet A guide for the stranger, or Pocket Companion for the Fancy, with a list of gay homes and ladies of fun in the city of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection offers reviews of prostitutes in Philadelphia in 1849
The guide offers reviews from women such as Miss Mary Blessinton, who is described as a “young and beautiful creature” and “as cozy a lump of flesh and blood as every man pressed on his bosom.”
A review by Mary Spicer claims that she is “a keeper of a house of poor familiarity” and recommends men to “keep a distance.”
At the time the pamphlet was written, an estimated 10,000 prostitutes were working in Philadelphia
It also contains the names and addresses of hospitals and women, as well as the quality of the “services” offered.
A mention is: “Miss Josephine Somers from 4 Wood Street, near Eleventh Street, who was described as an” accomplished lady “and her brothel a” Temple of Venus “.
Another article recommends that men visit a lady who is known as “Miss Sarah Turner” from “2 Wood Street.”
According to the pamphlet, Turner was a “perfect queen”.
“You don’t hear any disgusting language in this house to irritate your ear; everything that has to do with this establishment has been calculated to make a man happy, “is the message.
“The young ladies are beautiful and finished; they will amuse you at any time with a fine melody on the piano, or use their melodic voices to scare away boring worries.
“Stranger, don’t forget to pay a visit to this house before you leave our quiet city of sisterly affection.”
Men were also encouraged to seek the services of a Miss Mary Blessinton, described as a “young and beautiful creature” who “is a cozy piece of flesh and blood as every man pressed on his bosom.”
“Her bed and house and first class,” says the pamphlet.
The pamphlet even contained a map of the city on which the brothels were emphasized.
The image above shows an engraving of a street scene in Philadelphia in the 19th century
Brothels marked with the letter X were considered ‘sad’ because ‘a single visit can be the cause of total ruin and shame’.
The pamphlet is written to appeal to entrepreneurs, travelers and farm workers who were visiting Philadelphia at the time.
The author of the pamphlet, who is anonymous, estimated that 10,000 prostitutes were working in the city.
Anti-prostitution laws in the United States were not enacted until the early 20th century.
Brothel prostitution is legal in some parts of Nevada.
In 2009, Rhode Island banned prostitution, which was legal in the state, simply because there was no law on the books between 1980 and 2009.