Mug shot of T S Jones and W A Smith, 15 July 1921, Central cells.
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Mug shot of Thomas Sutherland Jones and William Smith, 15 July 1921, Central Police Station, Sydney.
July 1921
Glass plate negative:
Emulsion side:
constructed out of a potent alchemy of inborn disposition, personal history, learned habits and idiosyncrasies, chosen personal style (haircut, clothing, accessories) and physical characteristics."
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 Special Photograph no. 439. Smith and Jones are listed in the NSW Police Gazette as charged with stealing seven packages of twine (value 14 pounds). Jones was further charged with stealing thirty horse rugs (value 15 pounds) and two bales of kapok (value 20 pounds). Smith was fined 20 pounds; Jones was sentenced to 18 months hard labour, suspended.
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
Published in:
Peter Doyle with Caleb Williams City of shadows: Sydney police photographs 1912-1948 Historic Houses Trust, 2005, pp.220, 238.
Exhibited in:
City of Shadows at the Justice & Police Museum, Sydney, November 2005-January 2007.
129 ; Justice & Police Museum
Justice & Police Museum
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