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[PHOTOS] 20 Amazing American Women Mugshots in the 1960s

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michael-author-iconDesigner Mark Michaelson was an art director at the first magazine I ever worked at, a graphically-rich ’80s-’90s rock & roll monthly that spawned a lot of great talent. I later saw Michaelson when he was at Entertainment Weekly. I’d heard from a fellow alumni that Michaelson – having moved around among a lot of different Manhattan-based publications – had among other things produced a popular book of collected mug shot photos. It wasn’t until I’d already selected this item, that I recognized Michaelson’s photo project, while browsing Tumblr favorites. Unlike your high school yearbook photo, or other idealized, voluntarily-staged photos, mug shots reflect how you look, in police custody, involuntarily, on your worst day, ever. It’s the great equalizer. Enjoy this, from vintage everyday:


The police mugshot photograph was developed as early as the mid-nineteenth century, and it has since developed as an iconic photographic type in its own right.

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Formulaic and recognized the world over, it was developed at a when the Victorian fascination of labelling and categorizing of people was at its height. Remarkably, the mugshot photograph has changed little in 150 years.

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Since the mid-’90s, Manhattan-based graphic designer Mark Michaelson has collected over 10,000 vintage mugshots of everyday people from all over the country. Each closeup has a detail that caught the designer’s eye, from scars and bandages to crooked teeth and bizarre haircuts.

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“I’m looking for the photos that move me for whatever reason,” Michaelson told the Daily News. “From things that are terribly funny to things that are terribly tragic.”

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Michaelson has also released a book of these photographs. … (read more)

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via vintage everyday

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