By the Decade: 1930's Mugshots


Mugshots of criminals were taken as early as the 1870’s. Its purpose is for the authorities to have a record of the offender so that victims can easily identify them. Typically, mugshots have two parts — one front-view and one side-view of the person. In the second installment of this series, we’ll take a look at some mugshots from the 1930’s.

image via Old Mugshots

Giuseppe Mammone, 1930
The picture above shows the mugshot of Giuseppe Mammone, taken on February 11, 1930. He was brought in and interviewed as he was said to have something to do with the stabbing of Domenico Belle, a man who he owed money to. After questioning, it was revealed that Mammone had a previous manslaughter offense. Though Mammone was the prime suspect for the stabbing, he was not convicted of the felony.

image via Historic Houses Trust Collection

Ah Num & Ah Tom, 1930
The mugshot of the two men above was taken at the Central Police Station in Sydney. Unlike other mugshots, the picture above shows the suspects in a different light. They seem happy to have their photo taken. Back then, offenders were free to compose themselves however they wish in front of the camera. The writing on the photo shows a “D”, which indicates that the photo was taken for the Drug Bureau.

image via Virginia Memory

Theodore Gibson, 1934
Theodore Gibson was 25 years old when he was arrested for murder. The police received an anonymous tip linking Gibson to the murder of a 71-year old watchman named William Woodfield. Woodfield was found with his skull crushed into pieces with a hammer and his watch missing. Theodore admitted to the crime two days after his arrest.

image via Historic Houses Trust Collection

Henry Reid, 1930
This is another photograph for the Drug Bureau. Hery Reid, a blacksmith, was convicted for several felonies, including assault and supplying of cocaine.

image via Scratching Sydney's Surface

Kate Leigh, 1930
Kate Leigh is one of the most notorious women in Surry Hills. She was both liked and hated for her activities. Leigh was involved in supplying of narcotics, prostitution, running of street gangs and illegal gambling. Amidst all her illicit activities, she was still respected in society since she was giving and threw an annual Christmas party for poor kids in her neighbourhood.

These are some mugshots from the 1930’s. Tell us what you think by leaving a comment below.

Tumblr: Old Mugshots
Historic Houses Trust Collection
Out of the Box: Notes From the Archives @ the Library of Virginia
Scratching Sydney's Surface

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written by jeanmendoza on 2011-11-09 #lifestyle #vintage #series #1930-s #mugshots #by-the-decade #by-the-decade-mugshots

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  1. maxwellmaxen
    maxwellmaxen ·

    love those!
    but the ones from the 20ies are even better!

  2. aprilia
    aprilia ·

    love their expression, and the tone of the photos

  3. lamp
    lamp ·

    Great shots! I especially like the one of Henry Reid.

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