The Justice & Police Museum of Sydney, Australia has a collection of "special photographs" of criminals from the 1920s. Curator Peter Doyle explains:
These ‘special photographs’ were mostly taken in the cells at the Central Police Station in Sydney and are of men and women recently plucked from the street, often still animated by the dramas surrounding their ‘apprehension’. 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.
Caption for above photo: 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.The Speculator says: "These are great photos, so beyond mug shots. I animated these and wrote some music to go with them a while back:"
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects