Portrait of a prisoner

Made:
1874 in England
photographer:
Unknown
Portrait of a prisoner
      An identity photograph of a convicted criminal, William Copeland, from an album of prison record photographs

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Portrait of a prisoner An identity photograph of a convicted criminal, William Copeland, from an album of prison record photographs
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

An identity photograph of William Copeland, taken by an unknown photographer in 1874. The photograph is taken from an album of prison record photographs. Copeland, aged forty-eight, was arrested in Gateshead in September 1874 and sentenced to six months hard labour for theft.

An identity photograph of William Copeland, taken by an unknown photographer in 1874.

The photograph is taken from an album of prison record photographs. Copeland, aged forty-eight, was arrested in Gateshead in September 1874 and sentenced to six months hard labour for theft.

The use of photography to record known criminals - the 'mug shot'- had been suggested as early as the 1840s. In 1871, the Prevention of Crime Act made it a legal requirement that all persons arrested for a crime must have their photographs taken.

Details

Category:
Photographs
Object Number:
1991-5046/5
type:
photograph
taxonomy:
  • visual and verbal communication
credit:
The National Media Museum, Bradford