‘Working Girls’ Book Release and Lecture in Reading, PA; where it all began.

I want to share something fun I did a few weeks back. I bought a newspaper mainly because I wanted to comb the want ads for job listings.  There was a super article in the weekend supplement regarding a new book written about some 1890’s photos of brothel women discovered by a gentleman at a sale out west that he spent over a decade researching. He linked them to Reading PA as there were 2 shots of women reading the same paper I had bought!  Beings he had published prior books and had the means in which to get this story out, he was able to document these wonderful images he bought and pieced together some of the history.  My interest was piqued and the article announced his local book signing and lecture, the next day!  I asked my mother to accompany me and no surpise, she did not seem as interested in the story as I. Not really wanting to go alone, I resorted to asking my husband. Although he was not thrilled, he agreed.

The event was held at the Berks County History Center in Reading.  I never knew it existed! My husband had been there to fix their phone lines for work and was familiar with it.  We arrived in time to enjoy some snacks and walk around the museum which was excellent! If you are local, it is a great retrospect of the history in Berks with homestead, wartime and industry artifacts.  It was surprisingly large and had many carriages and other fun things to check out plus many audio exhibits telling stories. 

The author, Robert Flynn Johnson, arrived and the lecture started.  He explained how he came about recreating the story of the brothel, it’s owner and patrons....many of which are anonymous, just by researching what clues were available in the shots. The photographer was also revealed and was a known portrait photographer in the area. Amazing to spy on his personal work that he most likely never intended on sharing with the world.  He even appeared in a nude himself, a subject of his own work.  

We enjoyed the evening and I placed an order for the book as all copies available that night were already sold.  He did share many photos with us during the lecture but I really wanted to see more! My book was available to pick up today and I went back to the museum and am now starting to ingest it.  It was signed by the author since I ordered it during the event.  He traveled to NYC after the lecture to present at a exhibit opening and official release of the book there and signed copies for all who ordered and shipped back to Reading for us.  I am looking forward to reading the essays he included from notable experts on fashion and the trade during that era, which really round out the history.  

 My copy, signed by the author. 

My copy, signed by the author. 

I really love that there are people in this world that think like I do.  They put the time in to search for the answers of what they find or as I like to say.....what found me. it is so easy for history to be lost and whether it is a manufacturer, person or product, preserving these stories for future generations is imperative. 

If you are interested in checking out the book,  https://www.amazon.com/Working-Girls-Robert-Flynn-Johnson/dp/1943876584


 Just a taste of the pics. There are nudes. The women are mainly just posing or doing things like brushing their hair or other grooming tasks. It is just lovely and so well photographed. Notice the flokati style rug on the floor! It is in many shots!

Just a taste of the pics. There are nudes. The women are mainly just posing or doing things like brushing their hair or other grooming tasks. It is just lovely and so well photographed. Notice the flokati style rug on the floor! It is in many shots!

Reading Eagle article on the book which sparked my interest:  http://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/secret-photos-of-1892-reading-brothel-published

Reading Eagle article on the event we attended:


Exhibition of photographs can be viewed through Oct 13th in NYC HERE:




Enjoy your week! 👌 

XO Malissa

Today is the big day! 30% off all Weekend!

Hope you local peeps can make it out today! I am available over the weekend if you can’t, message me for an appointment! 

See you at the Fleetwood Antique Mall from 2:00-6:00 today! I have cold drinks, candy and am ready to meet you! Let’s chat about what we love!  Bring your questions and friendly faces! I have a few of my recent ottoman restorations coming along....grab them fast!  One has already sold and I just sold the cobalt couch last night!  Things have been moving quick all year.  With that said, if you have any mid century items you are looking to sell, shoot me pics and details! I particularly am interested in dressers and casework, sofas and larger items.  Let me know whatcha got!   


Fleetwood Antique Mall/GRQ USED FURNITURE, 14129 Kutztown RD (route 222), Fleetwood, PA 19522.  Open 10-6 all weekend.  Storewide sales, my space is 30% off.  MEET AND GREET TODAY 2:00-6:00 PM!!!! 



Meet and Greet Event!


Please join me next Friday, September 14th from 2:00pm until 6:00pm at the Fleetwood Antique Mall in my retail space on the 2nd floor for a fabulous evening of chit chat, shopping and socializing! There is a big birthday event going throughout the mall with food and sales.  I want to meet you and hear all about your collections, wants and projects! Feel free to pump my brain on anything while you are there plus if you have anything in my realm you are looking to sell bring pics and details!  I am planning some giveaways and other surprises! My featured inventory will be 30% OFF ALL WEEKEND plus any items I bring from my online inventory can be had at a discount.  Reach out and I will have anything in my online inventory there for pick up or for inspection! My space is too small to feature everything but I do plan on bringing some of my restored ottomans!  Here is the event link on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/284618475463599/?ti=ia

Please share with your friends!

Details of the BIG SALE at GRQ/Fleetwood Antique Mall are here:   https://www.facebook.com/events/2201061653240630/?ti=ia  FRIDAY EVENTS.  See the GRQ FACEBOOK PAGE for details of the whole weekend schedule.

HOPE TO MEET SOME LOCAL MCM FANS! Can’t make it Friday? I may have some weekend availability to meet by appointment! Reach out!

XO Malissa