New York: Cassell & Company, 1886. Paper browning, tiny chips to the edges of a few text pages, else near fine in what appears to be an original buckram binding, stamped in gilt on the spine.. First Edition. Thick quarto. With a letter from the chief clerk of the Police Department of New York giving Byrnes permission to publish this book tipped-in. Header of the letter is clearly printed, but the rest appears handwritten. (No other copies I can reference have this letter, but bibliographical details are murky despite ample citations in OCLC.) 206 black and white mug shots of a variety of 19th century criminals printed six per page. Each individual is given a thorough write-up. While mug shots have exploded in popularity, especially with growing interest in vernacular photography, this volume was intended to be a an almanac for law enforcement. I don't know the history of mug shot photography, but surely this is an early example. Introduction by Frederick Smyth; preface and text by Inspector Thomas Byrnes.
(Inventory #: 21162)
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