A prostitute from Storyville, the legalized red light district of New Orleans circa 1897-1917. The most popular hard liquor in Storyville was Raleigh Rye. Striped stockings were expensive and could be afforded only by the high-priced bawds of Basin Street. Opera length, the hose were sold by traveling salesmen who, with a tricky demonstration, made them seem run-proof. They cost six dollars a pair and lasted through one or two washings.
Photographer Ernest J. Bellocq...Bellocq managed to capture many of Storyville’s sex workers in their own dwellings, simply being themselves in front of his camera—not as sexualized pinups for postcards.
His private photographic project remained unknown until after his death, but eventually found its way to international acclaim. Yet virtually no prostitute portraits printed by Bellocq himself have surfaced. He kept his Storyville project secret from everyone except a few of his closest friends, and it remained secret until his glass negative plates were discovered languishing in a junk shop years after his death.