The Kosmo Club Case: Clandestine Prostitution during the Interwar Period

During November 1933 the trial of three men accused of ‘living off the earnings of prostitution’ captivated the news reading public of Edinburgh. This article uses the detailed trial transcription and newspaper coverage of the Kosmo Club trial to examine the role that dance clubs played within a larger network of clandestine prostitution and the implications this had for the women who worked in these clubs as ‘dance partners’. The case study focuses on a key moment in the history of prostitution, one that has not yet received sufficient historical attention, a moment when new technologies, such as the telephone and the motorcar, first began to dramatically alter the landscape of prostitution. Furthermore, the trial offers a rare glimpse of dance partners’ experiences, both the dangers they faced and the many ways in which they attempted to resist those who sought to control and exploit them.
Full article available here. 

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