By Nic White For Mailonline. Life was hard in the Old West as young men flooded the frontier looking for work in an environment where they vastly outnumbered women, leading to a golden age of brothels run by savvy madams. These photographs from the 19th Century American Frontier show prostitutes inside their bedrooms, mingling with potential customers and scarlet women showing off their wares for the camera. They reveal life from inside the brothels of the Wild West where prostitutes mixed with some of the most famed outlaws of the day. These photographs from the 19th Century show American Frontier prostitutes inside their bedrooms, mingling with potential customers and scarlet women showing off their wares for the camera, like these two in Alaska in the s. Prostitutes - or 'soiled doves' and 'sportin' women' as they were commonly known - were a fixture in western towns and cities. Maps and population data from the time showed there were up to 20 per cent more men than women in many fringe areas of the west where brothels flourished. Almost without exception, pioneer mining camps, boomtowns and whistles-stops became home to at least one or two prostitutes - if not a roaring red light district.
The rare pictures show the 'soiled doves' - the prostitutes who worked in boom towns like Denver at the turn of the 19th century. They were known as the 'soiled doves' - the girls in white dresses who flocked to America's boom towns to keep working men 'company'. And these rare photos show inside the brothels where they worked at the turn of the 19th century. Colorado boom towns like Denver were a magnet to these girls, keen to make as much cash as possible from lonely bachelors. Other photos show the infamous bordellos with madams, men, women, maids and even babies having a time of it in the Wild West. The highly mythicized American Frontier saw economic workers traipsing out the Western states of the Union in search of lucrative work. They struck gold in Colorado's Cripple Creek in October and the population of the town exploded from just to more than 10, in the space of three years.
Brothels were nearly impossible to escape from as their controlling owners fostered a competitive atmosphere between prostitutes, and they were given little food. The times were synonymous with gunfights, heavy drinking, gun-toting outlaws, sheriffs and solitary men on horseback. These rare pictures - taken around the turn of the 19th century - show "soiled doves", women in white dresses who came to boom towns such as Denver to keep the working men company. Other photos feature the infamous bordellos, showing madams, men, women, maids and even babies having a time of it in the Wild West. The highly mythologised American Frontier saw economic workers traipsing out the Western states of the Union in search of lucrative work.
Almost without exception, pioneer mining camps, boomtowns and whistles-stops became home to at least one or two hookers - if not a roaring red light district. And these fascinating images taken in the 19th century show some of the most famous scarlet women of the time - who would go on to become millionaires, national heroes and outlaws. Prostitution contributed heavily to town economies in the way of business licences, fees and fines. A number of red light districts evolved into the social centres of their communities. I went into the sporting life for business reasons and for no other. It was a way for a woman in those days to make money, and I made it.