I Colorized 9 Mugshots Of Real Life 1930s Criminals And Here Are Their Stories

I am an artist, Matt Loughrey, based in Ireland, working behind the ‘My Colorful Past’ project. For the first time, I brought back to life in color the mugshots of various criminals which date back to the 1930s. The mugshots were taken from a police identification book, this is a rogue’s gallery of real life criminals from Newcastle-upon-Tyne arrested for theft, breaking and entering, pick pocketing, and begging.

Colorization is a game of patience and fact finding. In some shape or form, it has existed since the advent of photography through the use of chemical colorization. In a digital age, these methods have long been abandoned in favor of dedicated hardware and software to match. I work with a Wacom Mobile Studio Pro to produce everything from colorization to animation.

In 2016, my work was noticed online by WACOM. They recognized the value in what I was undertaking and looked to support and promote what I was doing. The following year, my work was published by National Geographic magazine. What was originally a side interest for me fast became a priority.

In 2018, I undertook a project to bring hundreds of inmate mugshots to life for a respected Australian museum. It is the largest colorization project of its kind and details of this will be announced soon. At present, I am exploring a whole series of colorization and animation possibilities that are bringing historical photographs to life, from Ellis Island to the American Civil War. These specific projects are about relatability and education combined.

More info: Instagram

Thomas Orange

Image credits: My Colorful Past

Thomas Orange, who sported a haircut very similar to Cilian Murphy’s character in Peaky Blinders, was born in 1907. He was a labourer and had a scar on his right eyebrow, left wrist and knee. He was known for larceny and forcing locks to break into shops.

James Potter

Image credits: My Colorful Past

James Potter, born in 1901 he was a labourer and had a long operation scar on the right side of his neck. He was known for breaking into pubs, shops and warehouses.

Albert Dick

Image credits: My Colorful Past

Born in 1911 Albert Dick was a labourer and a “general all round thief & safebreaker”. He associated with other thieves.

James Casey

Image credits: My Colorful Past

James Casey, pictured here in November 1931, was born in 1906. He was a gardener who specialised in “various forms of larceny”.

James Lowrie

Image credits: My Colorful Past

Born in 1892, James Lowrie also had an alias “Johnstone” and was known as the “Sunderland Kid”. A labourer he had a scar on his back and right hand. He was known for stealing from people, robbery and was considered an expert pickpocket.

John Dodgson

Image credits: My Colorful Past

Scruffy-looking John Dodgson was a miner. Born in 1902 his crimes were ones of larceny and fraud. A general thief, police described him as a “bad character”.

James Hargreaves Jones

Image credits: My Colorful Past

James Hargreaves Jones was born in 1896 and has a distinctive scar on the side of his face. He was said to be a beggar and known for breaking into empty houses.

Thomas Boyd

Image credits: My Colorful Past

Dapper Thomas Boyd also used the name “Coyne” as an alias. He was a carpenter, born in 1900. He had scars on his top lip, right forearm, right wrist and left breast.
Police said he associated with “all class of thieves”.

Thomas Giles

Image credits: My Colorful Past

Thomas Giles, born 1890 he was a labourer and broke into houses. He also had convictions for larceny of metal, counterfeit coins and larceny from vehicles.

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