Mugshots

Vintage: Mugshots of Prisoners (1900s)

Vintage: Mugshots of Prisoners (1900s)

“Some years ago I discovered a cache of glass negative mug shots taken in the early 20th century; each negative was inscribed with the man’s name and alleged crime. In order to research the life of each man pictured in the 500 negatives, I spent the next three years traveling back and forth from New York to the small Northern…
Vintage: Nebraska Mug Shots (Late 19th Century)

Vintage: Nebraska Mug Shots (Late 19th Century)

The Nebraska State Penitentiary used photography beginning in 1867 to record the likeness of the state’s most infamous residents. The Omaha police photographed suspects when arrested. Whether the people depicted were guilty or innocent, behind every photograph is a human story. This glimpse back at some of the thousands of photographs in the Nebraska State Penitentiary and Omaha Police Court…
Biography: Pioneer of Mug Shot – Alphonse Bertillon

Biography: Pioneer of Mug Shot – Alphonse Bertillon

Alphonse Bertillon (1853 – 1914) was a French police officer and biometrics researcher who applied the anthropological technique of anthropometry to law enforcement creating an identification system based on physical measurements. This system, invented in 1879, became known as the Bertillon system, or bertillonage, and quickly gained wide acceptance as a reliable, scientific method of criminal investigation. In 1884 alone,…
Vintage: Mugshots of Prisoners in West London (1890s)

Vintage: Mugshots of Prisoners in West London (1890s)

These photographs were taken in 1880 and 1890 at Wormwood Scrubs prison in West London by unknown photographer. These portraits are unusual compared with the standard of prison photography at the time, in that they combine the profile and frontal portrait in one photograph. The prisoners hold up their hands to show any identifying features, such as tattoos or missing…
Glass Plate Female Mugshots from Australia

Glass Plate Female Mugshots from Australia

In 1990 the Historic Houses Trust rescued a remarkable collection of NSW Police forensic photographs from a flooded warehouse in Lidcombe. Created between 1912 and 1964, the archive contains approximately 130,000 glass plate negatives depicting crime scenes, police activities, forensic evidence and mug shots and may be the biggest police photography collection in the southern hemisphere. The Historic Houses Trust…
40 Glass Plate Mugshots from the 1920s

40 Glass Plate Mugshots from the 1920s

These are wife killers, petty thieves, dealers of fake opium, hustlers – plucked from the street by the police of 1920s Sydney, Australia and photographed, fresh from the scene of the crime. These photographs reveal a lot more than the usual mugshot. The suspects strike poses. A few look disheveled and deranged, but some look decidedly guilty. They lean casually into…