“Docile bodies”: Anthropometry cards

In mid 19th century the mug shot was invented and in 1888  the French policeman Alphonse Bertillon standardised the process (you can read here more about the method and its limits). This opened not just the era of the “criminal body” – identifying the criminal by physical features, but also one of linking a person’s identity to the morphological features of their body, and fixing it in official documents.

Here are a couple of such interesting anthropometry cards:

and

1888. Source: University College London, GP, 137/13

1888. Source: University College London, GP, 137/14 (p. 2) http://www.eugenicsarchive.org/eugenics/image_header.pl?id=2215&printable=1&detailed=0

 

And, the best by far, a mug shot of Bertillon’s son:

Image: Alphonse Bertillon, 17 October 1893. Silver albumen print, 8.1 x 12.7 cm. Via the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Source: http://ridiculouslyinteresting.com/2013/07/21/pear-nibbling-toddler/

 

More cards: here

PS: And a nice example from the beginnings of fingerprinting

 

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