These photographs were taken in 1880 and 1890 almost as soon as photography was invented, the picures were taken at Wormwood Scrubs prison in West London. The police and prison authorities began photographing prisoners and suspects to aid in their identification. The pictures became known as "mugshots," after the slang word for face.
They are unusual in that, through the clever use of a mirror, the full face and profile views appear in the same shot. The prisoners also showed their hands, so that any distinguishing features such as missing fingers or tattoos could be recorded.