About Our Products

This website features original police criminal mugshots from the turn of the century Barbary Coast San Francisco to later ones from Allegheny, PA., Chicago, New York, Ohio and more. I am selling a collection of original rare pieces of ephemera. I sell to museums, collectors, authors, teachers, lawyers, judges, and various law enforcement officials. Many of the cards have original criminal photos dating back 100 years!

These mugshots were kept by police and institutions to keep track of people that had been arrested.  They are historical and collectible and make great gifts for history or photography lovers.

Mugshots like these have been featured in the following books:

  • Least Wanted -  A Century of American Mugshots by Mark Michaelson and Steven Kasher
  • Dans Les Secrets-Les Tres Inedits Des Archives De La Prefecture De Police by Bruno Fuligni


Early San Francisco Mugshots

The early San Francisco mugshots were stored carefully for over 50 years in a dry place. Condition varies so each card has been photographed to show the front and the back. These are not reproductions. Each card tells a unique story.

The subjects were photographed and information was handwritten, printed, or typed on each card. These cards predate (or precede) standard fingerprinting, so they use the Bertillon system of identification (developed by Frenchman Alphonse Bertillon) which involved taking specific body measurements. A number of dimensions were recorded for the head, legs, and arms because these were believed to be unique to each individual. The data was recorded on these police file cards to confirm a suspect's identity. Descriptions often include tattoos, scars, race, date of birth, height, and occupation.

The criminals are charged with crimes such as:
Murder, pimping, burglary, exposure, lewd conduct, prison escape, larceny, shoplifting, counterfeiting, safe blowing, crimes of nature, sodomy, rape, and forgery.

Many cards list incarceration history at prisons such as Folsom, San Quentin, and the Ohio State Reformatory.

Cards measure approximately 5 1/2" x 6" (unless noted otherwise) and are on thick stock with original photos. Some escapees/wanted criminals have re-printed images.

Many are nearly 100 years old. The cards date from the late 1800s- early 1920s.

Other Mugshots

Many different mugshots are featured on the site. They come from all over the country. Each one is unique and original. These are listed in categories such as: general population, sex offenders, murderers, women, and wanted criminals.


Posters and Handbills

I have been collecting and trading rock, blues, art posters, handbills and other paper ephemera since the sixties. My first poster was the Beatles at Candlestick Park done by local Bay Area artist Wes Wilson.

The owners of a store displaying the Beatles poster in the window promised to hold it for me. After the show my mother drove me to the store to retrieve the poster.  My collection had begun.

Through the years I have been able to purchase collections and sometimes multiple copies of older posters, handbills, and collectible original artwork. Offered here are many unique and outstanding examples of this era. Many are pictured in the book The Art of Rock, and were created by highly sought after artists such as Rick Griffin, Wes Wilson, Victor Moscoso, Stanley Mouse, and Alton Kelley. Many items are hand signed by the artists.

Since I continue to collect, trade and find "stashes" of vintage items of all types (posters, advertisements, handbills, original artwork, photos, etc.), the items listed on my site will change on a regular basis. I hope you enjoy browsing the site for items that interest you!

If there is a particular item from the San Francisco Bay Area poster scene that you are looking for, I encourage you to contact me.


Original Hippie Pinback Buttons

Offered here are original counter-culture Sixties pinback buttons, also known as badges or pinbacks. Many were obtained when I purchased a collection that came from a warehouse in the Haight Ashbury. These were sold in head shops during the Summer of Love. Some of these are dated 1967, 1968, or 1969 on the edge. Others are from my personal collection.

All are guaranteed originals. The subjects include: psychedelic drugs, marijuana, politics, the peace and anti-Vietnam War movement, sexual freedom of the free love era, civil rights, and of course there are the humorous ones.


Shipping Info

California residents will be charged applicable sales tax.

Criminal Cards

Boxed Priority Domestic shipping for 1 or more cards: $5
Boxed International Shipping for 1 or more cards: $18

Posters

Priority Domestic shipping in a crush-proof tube: $9
International Shipping in a crush-proof tube: $20
(Exceptions for cardboard posters needing flat shipping)

Handbills/Postcards

Boxed Priority Domestic shipping: $5
Boxed International boxed shipping: $18

Pinback Buttons/Badges

Boxed Domestic shipping for one or more buttons: $3.25
International shipping: $12


Please contact me with any questions! sherwooddonahue@gmail.com