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Mug shot of Hampton Hirscham, Cornellius Joseph Keevil, William Thomas O'Brien and James O'Brien, 20 July 1921, Central Police Station, Sydney.  
 
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Title: Mug shot of Hampton Hirscham, Cornellius Joseph Keevil, William Thomas O'Brien and James O'Brien, 20 July 1921, Central Police Station, Sydney.
 
Creator: New South Wales. Police Dept.
 
Date: July 1921
 
Format: [Picture] Glass plate negative:
 
Inscription: Emulsion side:
 
Place: Central Police Station (Sydney, N.S.W.)
 
Subject: police detainees and suspects
mug shots
fedoras (hats)
 
Description: Special Photograph no. 446. The quartet pictured were arrested over a robbery at the home of bookmaker Reginald Catton, of Todman avenue, Kensington, on 21 April 1921. The Crown did not proceed against Thomas O'Brien but the other three were convicted, and received sentences of fifteen months each. 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. 163,166,167, 169, 234.
 
Exhibited in: City of Shadows at the Justice & Police Museum, Sydney, November 2005-January 2007.
 
Source: Justice & Police Museum ; 127
 
Rights: Justice & Police Museum
 
Record no: 31313