15 Stylish Mugshots of Criminals From The Early 20th Century

In the second and third decades of the 20th Century Australia’s New South Wales Police Department photographed the villains. The Justice & Police Museum in Sydney adds:

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.

William Stanley Moore



Thomas Craig, Raymond Neil (aka “Gaffney the Gunman”), William Thompson and FW Wilson
January 25, 1928

mug 1


De Gracy (sic) and Edward Dalton circa 1920

mug 2


Herbert Ellis circa 1920

mug 3


Nancy Cowman, 21 February 1924

mug 15


Sidney Kelly
June 25, 1924

mug 4


Hampton Hirscham, Cornellius Joseph Keevil, William Thomas O’Brien & James O’Brien
July 20, 1921

mug 5


Masterman Thomas Scoringe
November 29, 1922

mug 6


Thomas Bede
November 22, 1928

mug 7




John Walter Ford, Oswald Clive Nash
June 1921

mug 8


Guiseppe Fiori, alias Permontto
August 5, 1924

mug 9


William Cahill
July 30, 1923

mug 10


Frank Murray alias Harry Williams
February 4, 1929

mug 11


‘Hayes’, early 1920s

mug 12


“Mrs Osbourne” circa 1919

mug 13


Elsie Hall, Dulcie Morgan, Jean Taylor c. 1920

mug 14

Would you like to support Flashbak?

Please consider making a donation to our site. We don't want to rely on ads to bring you the best of visual culture. You can also support us by signing up to our Mailing List. And you can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For great art and culture delivered to your door, visit our shop.