Shows like Boardwalk Empire and Underbelly: Razor have given us a great glimpse at what the criminal underworld looked like in the 1920′s. Men of the era wore dapper suits, hats and shoes shined to a mirror finish while respectable women wouldn’t leave the house without a long dress, hat and gloves. This series of police photos from Australia were shot in the police stations and prisons of New South Wales between 1912 and 1930. They are incredible, not only for the composition of the photos which at times resembles that of a series of professionally staged portraits, but also for the subjects themselves who seem quite at ease posing for the camera. Many of these photos wouldn’t have seemed out of place above the mantle piece. Sydney criminals then, not only were they wayward deviants looking to break the law at every opportunity, they often did so looking rather stylish!
Ah Num, Ah Tum