This portrait of a fedora balanced on top of boxes of photographic negatives is reproduced from one of many thousands of glass-plate images contained within an archive of forensic photography created by the New South Wales Police between 1912 and 1964 and now held at the Justice & Police Museum in Sydney. The fedora, a soft hat with a crease down the centre, was very popular in Sydney during the 1920s and features in several of the images within the archive. It was police practice to photograph suspects as they would appear in public – with their hat on – to make identification easier for police walking the beat. Many of the suspects and criminals photographed by police at Central police station at that time are shown wearing fedoras. Detectives also wore this kind of hat as evidenced by pictures of police photographers wearing fedoras at crime scenes. The hat on the boxes, with its sweat-stained hatband, may have been evidence for a prosecution or was perhaps simply owned by a police photographer playing around with a camera.
Submitted by jays on 22 January 2014 - 3:59pm
Justice & Police Museum
NSW Police forensic photography archive