“It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia”: Stunning Mid-Century Mugshots From The City Of Brotherly Love – Design You Trust

“It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia”: Stunning Mid-Century Mugshots From The City Of Brotherly Love

Sometimes mugshots look like portraits. In this gallery of faces from 1950 and 1960s Philadelphia, photo collector Mark Michaelson picks mugshots that make us stop, look and keep looking.

“In Boston they ask, how much does he know? In New York, how much is he worth? In Philadelphia, who were his parents?” – Mark Twain

Punks, sneaks, mooks and miscreants. Hookers, stooges, grifters and goons. Men and women, elderly and adolescent, rich and poor, but mostly poor. These are the Least Wanted. Their portraits make up a small part of Mark Michaelson’s collection of over 10,000 American mugshots from the 1870s to the 1960s.

Created as utilitarian instruments, and meant to be destroyed when obsolete, they survive as remnants of a bygone era of hard-copy originals, extraordinary visual windows on the past, and riveting physical artifacts, often accompanied by municipal ephemera. They are glued to cards and manuscripts, typed on and rubber stamped. Each suspect has been measured and fingerprinted, documented and classified.

Bored, sheepish, proud, coy, tough, defiant, bounced, bloodied, bruised, broken and innocent faces–innocent until proven guilty–stare back at the camera with unmistakable individuality. This is central casting for the Late Late Show of unvarnished reality, and the lineup is full of small-timers, those who have fallen through the cracks.

Each subject, each image, is a person, a portrait, a trace, a crime, a clue, a moment, an expression, a frame, a mustache, a mother, a father, a son or a daughter. Each image is evidence, documentation. A record of people and of stories dismissed by history and rescued here. A century of American souls, filed and forgotten, until now.

More info: Amazon (h/t: flashbak)















































If you want more awesome content, subscribe to 'Oh, Design You Trust,' our brand new Facebook page! Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

More Inspiring Stories

Beautiful Goldie Hawn's "Laugh-In" Bikini Photoshoot
Marvelous Beauty And Lifestyle Portraits By Consuelo Sorsoli
American Still Life
Rosie Hardy Escapes Into Fantasy Worlds Through Her Self Portraits
Urban Explorer Visits Abandoned Japanese Love Motel Of Naughty Attractions
Photographer Dan Bannino Captures Favorite Food Of The World’s Powerful People
Stunning Photos Of The Pulitzer Prize-Winning Associated Press Photographer Robert Bukaty
"Last Rides": Photographer Takes Pictures Of The Roads Where Stars Died In Car Crashes
Cate Blanchett Photographed by Robin Sellick, 1994
The City that Builts into the Rock
Behind the Scenes Photographs From a 1950s Casting Call for a Long-Haired Model
The Winning Photos From The CIWEM Environmental Photographer Of The Year 2019, An International Showcase For The Very Best In Environmental Photography
Kodak Prepares for Chapter 11 Filing
Detroit Then And Now: An Artist Combined Historic Pictures Of Detroit With Modern Photographs
Fascinating Photos That Capture Everyday Of Oahu Beaches, Hawaii In The Early 1970s
These Adventurous Maternity Photos Were Shot At Home With Fruit And Veggies
Matt Rainwaters Captures Okie Noodling Fisherman for New York Times Magazine
A Lot of Penguins
Mysterious Jupiter Up Close Looks Like A Van Gogh Painting
The Couple that Laughs Together
Window of the World: Europe Made in China
Beautiful Photos of Sakura Blooming in Japan by Hidenobu Suzuki
The Dark And Surreal Photo Artworks Of Ben Ward
"Dancers & Dogs": Photographer Duo Captures The Relationship Between Dancers And Their Pups