Exquisite Glass Plate Mugshots from the 1920s

These are wife killers, petty thieves, dealers of fake opium, hustlers — plucked from the street by the police of 1920s Sydney, Australia and photographed, fresh from the scene of the crime. These photographs reveal a lot more than the usual mugshot. The suspects strike poses. A few look disheveled and deranged, but some look decidedly guilty. They lean casually into their own pockets, hats tipped, eyes scowling. They look in character, the alleged crime still fresh on their mind. There are thousands of vintage glass plates photographs taken by the New South Wales Police Department between 1910 and 1930, now hosted by the The Sydney Justice & Police Museum. These are just some of them. Meet the suspects in our gallery.

Sidney Kelly – June 25, 1924. New South Wales Police Department.