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Mug shot Alfred Fitch, 18 August 1924, location unknown, but possibly Darlinghurst Police Station.  
 
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Title: Mug shot of Alfred Fitch, 18 August 1924, location unknown, but possibly Darlinghurst Police Station.
 
Creator: New South Wales. Police Dept.
 
Date: August 1924
 
Format: [Picture] Glass plate negative:
 
Inscription: Emulsion side:
 
Subject: police detainees and suspects
mug shots
staghorn ferns
criminals
flat caps
 
Description: haps 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."
Special photograph no. 1303. When this photograph was taken Alfred Fitch was a car thief. He appears later in the 1933 NSW Criminal Register, cited as associating with the leading lights of the Darlinghurst criminal milieu, including Kate Leigh, Harold Tarlington and 'Chow' Hayes. His entry concludes: 8. ... may be described as an unscrupulous criminal, who will lend his hand to any unlawful undertaking, irrespective of its nature, and invariably assaults, or endeavours to assault, police effecting his arrest. 9. Addicted to drink, a constant companion of prostitutes, frequents houses of ill-fame, wine bars and hotels in the city and its immediate surroundings, generally Surry Hills and Darlinghurst particularly. 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 - per
 
Published in: Peter Doyle with Caleb Williams City of shadows: Sydney police photographs 1912-1948 Historic Houses Trust, 2005, pp.172, 175, 234.
 
Exhibited in: City of Shadows at the Justice & Police Museum, Sydney, November 2005-January 2007.
 
Source: Justice & Police Museum ; 026
 
Rights: Justice & Police Museum
 
Record no: 31185