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Mug Shots of the 1920s

Mug shot-EllisMug shots are those images taken at police stations for people arrested, whether they are guilty or not. Those photos can be kept by a police department for decades.

Online is an interesting collection of about 21 mug shots, some of an individual person, others of a group of men. Many have a name written with the photo along with a date. These were taken during the Roaring Twenties, when there were many gangsters and people involved in illegal liquor because of Prohibition.

It is interesting to see these types of mug shots when we typically think of just the ‘head shot’. Another interesting note is that most of the fellows are nicely dressed, look like businessmen. Doing a full body shot might even better help identify these guys later if need be, the way they stand, etc.

However, the 6th one down from the top was actually a woman transgendered to a man: named; Eugenia Falleni (born July 25, 1875 & died June 10, 1938). Other names he/she used were Eugene Falleni, Harry Leo Crawford and Jean Ford; and was convicted of murder.mug shot-Falleni Think these were taken in Chicago, Miami, New York or London — no they were taken by New South Wales Police Department photographers (Sydney, Australia) between 1910 and 1930. These “special photographs” were mostly taken in the cells at the Central Police Station in Sydney.

Additional mug shots, some 20 plus, from Sydney, Australia also have a few female criminals.

So look over some of the names, especially if you had relatives in Sydney, you know know what you could discover.

Photo: Mug shot of ‘H. Ellis’ in the 1920s in Sydney, Australia and second one is of Falleni.

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