Victorian Mugshots: Joseph Martin

4D274A8500000578-5834259-A_mugshot_of_Joseph_Martin_on_5_8_1862_crime_unknown_-a-88_1528800652183We have been looking at vintage mugshots recently discovered in the archives of the West Midlands Police Department, including the oldest mugshot in British history.  This is a strangely captivating picture of Joseph Martin from August 5, 1862.

Joseph has a certain toughness and resolution to his image, but his actual crime is lost to history.  Somehow I do not think it was stealing doorbells.

6 thoughts on “Victorian Mugshots: Joseph Martin”

  1. The French semiotician Roland Barthes wrote “Camera Lucida,” a meditation on photography. It featured a photograph from, I believe, the 19th century of a condemned killer. Barthes’s observation about photography’s ability was that it showed “He is dead, and he is going to die.”

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