The Bad Old Days of New York: 15 Black and White Photos Documented NYC Street Prostitutes in 1971

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In 1971 Burt Glinn documented street prostitutes for New York Magazine. At the time, prostitutes had been getting more mention in the press due to a series of incidents in which streetwalkers had attacked clients. Many thought that prostitutes were beginning to make more money through violence than “rendered services”, this at a time when the New York Times claimed that there were more prostitutes, gangsters and hoodlums in Times Square than ever before.

Prostitution was able to exist at such a scale since laws at the time made it practically impossible to get a conviction and even when one was attained, the fine was usually as low as $50-$100; a trifle since a streetwalker could earn her money back in less than an hour.

(Photos © Burt Glinn/Magnum Photos)

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