This photo is of the Queen of the Red Light District, Josephine Airey or otherwise known as Chicago Joe. She was a business owner and popular streetwalker from Helena, Montana.
Aside from being the successful madam that she is, she also owned a few brothels, theaters, dance halls, and saloons, as well as a whole lot of land. Wow!
Known for her stagecoach robberies, Pear Heart was another woman from the Old West that had a lot of spunk! She was the gutsy gal that escaped from prison and reached celebrity status during her lifetime. Although she is a famous robber, she wasn’t always involved in serious crimes. In fact, she was well-educated and came from a wealthy family.
After suffering physical abuse from her husband, she left him several times and eventually escaped from his clutches to move to Phoenix. Now, that’s a brave woman right there!
The Respectable Madams
Streetwalking was a big thing back in the Old West. Even though it was mostly illegal, brothels were common and in plain sight. Some respectable madams even donated most of their profits back to society.
Since working in the gold mines was mostly lonely and cold, that's when scarlet women and madams came along.
Back then, any kind of liquor was not cheap, especially Rotgut Liquor. For saloons to generate more money, owners would dilute their good liquor by adding other ingredients into it, like ammonia and turpentine. Woah, that sounds like a dangerous combination!
Besides, hard liquor, some of the most popular drinks included the Allston Cocktail, which was made with peppermint schnapps, gin, lemon juice, and a classic mix of brandy and soda called B&S. No wonder people were always drunk! The drinks back then were super deadly!
A Bullet Dance
In the photo you see before you, there are several men firing their guns at another man’s feet in an unknown old western saloon, which was possibly located in Wyoming.
Back then, the only way a poor man could avoid getting shot was if he jumped as fast as he could, which was called a “Bullet dance” As you can see, we don't think it was all fun and games for these guys!