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 fingers. A mirror placed on their right shoulder captures their profile.
The pictures became known as “mugshots,” after the slang word for face.