Full Record

Mug shot of Frederick Edward Davies taken 14 July 1921, standing with toilet stalls in background.
Click on image to enlarge
Request a copy
 
Title:
Mug shot of Frederick Edward Davies, 14 July 1921, probably Central Police Station, Sydney.
Creator:
New South Wales. Police Dept.
Date:
July 1921
Format:
Glass plate negative:
Inscription:
Emulsion side:
Subject:
Description:
The handwritten inscription on this unnumbered Special Photograph reads 'Frederick Edward Davies stealing in picture shows and theatres Dets Surridge Clark and Breen Central 14-7-21'. Police held sneak thieves in particularly low regard, which may account for the decision to photograph Davies in front of the police station's toilet stalls.
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.213, 237.
Exhibited in:
City of Shadows at the Justice & Police Museum, Sydney, November 2005-January 2007.
Source:
Justice & Police Museum ; 128
Rights:
You may save or print this image for research and study. If you wish to use it for any other purposes, you must contact Sydney Living Museums to request permission.
Material Type:
Picture
Record number:
31314