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Drug Bureau mug shot of Fay Watson, 24 March 1928, Central Police Station
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Mug shot of Fay Watson, 24 March 1928, Central Police Station, Sydney.
March 1928
glass plate negative : b&w ; 12 x 16.5 cm.
Emulsion side: FAY WATSON. 24.3.28 / D.6
Special Photograph no. D6, (Drug Bureau Photograph). Although no record for Fay Watson is found in the NSW Police Gazette for 1928, the Sydney Morning Herald (26 March 1928, p. 12) reports her arrest in a house in Crown Street, Darlinghurst, and subsequent conviction for having cocaine in her possession, for which she was fined ten pounds. This picture is one of a series of around 2500 "special photographs" taken by New South Wales Police Department photographers between 1910 and 1930. These "special photographs" were mostly taken in the cells at the Central Police Station, Sydney and are, as curator Peter Doyle explains, of "men and women recently plucked from the street, often still animated by the dramas surrounding their apprehension". Doyle suggests that, compared with the subjects of prison mug shots, "the subjects of the Special Photographs seem to have been allowed - perhaps invited - to position and compose themselves for the camera as they liked. Their photographic identity thus seems constructed out of a potent alchemy of inborn disposition, personal history, learned habits and idiosyncrasies, chosen personal style (haircut, clothing, accessories) and physical characteristics."
Published in:
Peter Doyle with Caleb Williams City of shadows: Sydney police photographs 1912-1948 Historic Houses Trust, 2005, pp.28, 229.
Exhibited in:
City of Shadows at the Justice & Police Museum, Sydney, November 2005-January 2007.
Justice & Police Museum ; FP07_0009_002
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