Tag Archives: female criminals

1920s Mugshots Are Way More Glamorous Than Today’s Mugshots

convicts in australia

The Sydney Living Museum recently made public a series of mugshots taken from the 1920s. Yes, I know, I know, Australia’s always had a rep for being an island of criminals, but these mugshots are actually super cool. The collection comprises both male and female convicts, posing artfully in both close up and full-body shots.

The pictures make me wonder what these men and women did to get arrested int he first place. Taken out of context, they could be inspiration for the latest J. Crew or Madewell collections. The photos are part of a collection of more than 2,500 images the museum has archived. Explains the collection’s curator, Peter Doyle:

“Some subjects were repeat offenders, and we find their names in police records and newspaper reports again and again, sometimes over many decades. A small number achieved notoriety in their time. But, generally, the subjects of the Special Photographs make only one or two fleeting appearances in the records. Some have left little more than a single amazing photograph. At the time these portraits were taken personal identity was a fluid, indeterminate thing. People drifted in and out of the lives and affairs of others, often never to be heard of, or from, again. Names were freely invented and changed. An individual’s origins and history could not be easily checked and, indeed, perhaps were not often sought. The sense of trustworthiness that a man or woman communicated in the flesh counted for much, and if you could fake that, as they say, you had it made.”

Check out a few more after the jump! [The Phoblographer]

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18 Incredible Vintage Women’s Mugshots

We often joke that Australia is a country of criminals, so it’s fascinating to see a little snapshot from the country’s actual criminal past. The New South Wales Police Department released around 2,500 mugshots of some of its finest female criminals picked up between 1910 and 1930. The snapshots provide a fascinating glimpse into the lives and livelihoods of the criminal underworld.

A good number the women arrested were brought in because of their involvement in the back alley illegal abortion industry, while another large subsect were charged with petty thievery. Another crime of the time — drug use and cocaine possession.

The criminal life certainly was hardknock — many of the women look much older than their rap sheets belie. Let their weathered faces be a warning to you — crime certainly doesn’t pay in moisturizing cremes. Click through to see their vintage mug shots and read their fascinating stories. [Daily Mail UK]

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