Friday, 18 February 2011

Another peek into my 'Tart Cards' book

London, more money was spent (probably still is) on sex than going to the cinema and the ladies (and gentlemen) in the trade had to sell it as best they could. There was a lot of competition so their business cards had to stand out from all the others.

Many had amusing printed phrases

Although they were a modern phenomenon in Victorian London prostitutes used to distributed their 'business card's to theatres and musical halls, the cards were placed in sealed envelopes that had printed on them delicately suggestive rhymes.

Of course not everyone appreciated these cards, some found them intimidating and offensive, others amusing but for the girls and their customers they were a commercial necessity and in 2001 it became a criminal office to put these type of tart cards in telephone boxes and if caught could have faced a six-month jail sentence or a £5,000 fine.

The girls often would find expressions in brief lines of poetry and rhyming couplets. I'll pick some of those for another time.

Hope you have a good weekend.



PK said...

I think these cards are great. They were funny and to the point. I wish they were still legal. I mean prostitution is not going away and neither is are the people that use their services. This way if you know what you want then you knew where to fine it.


sixofthebest said...

How about this card. "I need six of the best. Six of the very best" Call 666 666 6666 for your request. And be my guest.

Florida Dom said...

Thanks for sharing the cards but I don't know why they were made illegal. In the US, the yellow pages have advertisements for "escort services'' but that is not as clever as the cards.


Hermione said...

Happy Johnny!

It's lovely that so many were CP-oriented. I'll look forward to the rhyming couplets to come.


Hermione said...

And happy Chross Day! There was never a doubt in my mind!

Hugs again,

Daisychain said...

These are great, Ronnie! xxxxxxx

Jack The Lad said...

I used to have some of these cards. Collected them when in London. Rang one or two of the providers.The cards were funny and sexy. Shame we have become so prudish. They did no harm. One didn't have to pick one up. One wasn't forced to contact anyone. It was a matter of choice. Jack The Lad

Raven Red said...

Love these business cards, at least they were honest into what they represented.



ronnie said...

PK - Do they not have working girls :)cards in Las Vegas?

SOTB - Would make an excellent card with a picture added perhaps.

FD - Your welcome. Same here, papers carry ads for 'escort' services' The still try to put cards in London phone boxes.

Hermione - Very happy Johnny :) Congratulations on being Chrossed yourself. Look forward to see what else happens to Ms Hammond.

Daisychain - Thanks.

JTL - Hello and welcome. Did you not keep any of them? Think they could be worth something now.

Raven - Thanks. Yes you knew what you were getting :) Apparently some of the cards were very, very graphic.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and thanks for stopping by.



I wonder if in twenty years, people will be looking at links banner designs with the same curiosity that we view these cards now.


Sara said...

These are just wonderful! Thanks for sharing them!

ronnie said...

Prefectdt - Somehow I don't think so these are quite different. Love them or hate them they are part of London history :)

Sara - Thanks. Great to see you back.

Thanks both.