Mugshots

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Underworld

Behind the scenes: How to read a ‘special’

Around the world, police forces followed established conventions when taking mugshots. But Sydney police in the 1920s did things differently.

Gaol photo of Arthur Astill

Captured: Portraits of Crime, Arthur Astill

Arthur Astill, a 16 year old labourer from Orange in central west NSW, was photographed at Dubbo Gaol on 24 January 1893 while awaiting trial for murder

Full length police photo of man in suit and hat, standing in front of chair.
WW1

Sensational car chase

John Talbot Wright was arrested on 11 September 1920 after a sensational car chase through city streets

Two photos side by side, first showing seated man, second showing man standing, with hat on.
WW1

Returned from active service

In July 1921 James Arthur Banfield was arrested by Sydney police, photographed and charged on three counts of larceny

Two photos side by side; man seated and man standing, with hat on.
WW1

Fallen hero of Flanders

In 1922, petty criminal Arthur Ernest Noonan was arrested by Sydney police to face charges of conspiracy to defraud

Black and white photo of man's face with white writing on negative visible to one side.

The Hawk strikes again! 

During the 1920s, inner Sydney was overrun with gangsters looking to make a name for themselves – sometimes literally

Black and white image of a woman looking pensive to the side of the viewer. The words
Underworld

Flappers

The flapper was an alluring vision of sophistication and freedom for young women globally

Gaol photo of Sarah Clifford

Captured: Portraits of Crime 1870-1930, Sarah Clifford

Sarah Clifford, born in Jamaica c.1833, was a former convict and known pickpocket in both Tasmania and NSW. She was photographed numerous times at Darlinghurst and Biloela gaols between 1872 and 1910

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Underworld

The Roaring Twenties

The 1920s heralded the brave new world that emerged from the devastation of World War I