The Millbank Prison Photographer, 1888

“The photographer at Millbank is one of the steel- buttoned warders, and we congratulate him on his well-arranged studio. Here are some pictures he has just taken — half profile, bold, clear, and vigorous portaits, well lighted, and altogether unlike what prison photographs usually are. There is no ‘prentice hand here, and we say so. A sitter is departing as we arrive — a man in ordinary attire, his short, cutaway beard giving him the appearance of a foreigner. Our guide sees our look of astonishment — ‘ He is a liberty man, and is photographed in liberty clothes ; he goes out next week, and has, therefore, been permitted to grow a beard during the past three months ;’ and on the desk we see a printed form referring to him, to which his photograph will presently be attached, ‘ Seven years’ penal servitude, three years’ police supervision,’ is upon it. His crime was forgery …” … More The Millbank Prison Photographer, 1888

Tricks of the prison limner and sitter 1866

“The credit which has been denied to photography on the score of art capacity must be conceded to its literal fidelity in rendering facts. That it is not imaginative, that it cannot modify or omit details from its presentments, becomes, in many cases, its cardinal virtue. If it nothing extenuate, it sets down naught in malice, and when it enters the witness-box, its evidence leaves little room for doubt. Hence it has taken an important place as an auxiliary to the administration of justice, both in civil and criminal cases. In multiplying indisputable fac-similes of important documents, in indicating pictorially the relative positions of disputed territory, its use is obvious. But it is in its aid to the discovery of identity in persons charged with crime that its legal use is most important …” … More Tricks of the prison limner and sitter 1866