Mug Shot Photograph of Abner Davis, Leavenworth inmate
This item is the prison photograph, also known as the "mug shot," of Leavenworth inmate Abner Davis, register number 12254. The photograph is divided into two parts. One side captures the inmate's right profile from the middle of the arm to the top of the head. The other side shows a frontal view from the middle of the chest to the top of the head.
Inmate File of Abner Davis
A mug shot or mugshot is a photographic portrait of a person from the waist up, typically taken after a person is arrested made with a purpose to have a photographic record for identification purposes by victims, the public and investigators. A typical mug shot is two-part, with one side-view, and one front-view. The paired arrangement may have been inspired by the 1865 prison portraits taken by Alexander Gardner of accused conspirators in the Lincoln assassination trial, though Gardner's photographs were full-body portraits with only the heads turned for the profile shots. The earliest mugshot photos of prisoners may have been taken in Belgium in 1843 and 1844. In the UK, the police of London started taking mugshots in 1846. By 1857, the New York City Police Department had a gallery where daguerreotypes of criminals were displayed.