Mugshot Yourself
August 12, 2012 6:19 PM   Subscribe

Mugshot Yourself: Meet 1864's greatest rogues, then become one yourself. Try your face on different mugshots, and add the best of them to Copper's growing collection of New York's most notorious. Con men, petty thieves, prostitutes...Oh, and you.(via BBCAmerica)
posted by ColdChef (21 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Does not work on this stolen iPad
posted by hal9k at 6:27 PM on August 12, 2012 [3 favorites]

Turn to the right.
posted by vozworth at 6:30 PM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

you're a desert flower, you are. just a little desert flower.
posted by RockyChrysler at 6:33 PM on August 12, 2012

Hello great great grandad. I'm in jail.
posted by hal9k at 6:43 PM on August 12, 2012 [5 favorites]

The result of this looked absolutely nothing like me at all. It sort of looks like my nose got poorly photoshopped on a poorly photoshopped picture... at best.
posted by mikeo2 at 7:02 PM on August 12, 2012

hal9k gets a bonus point for his obscure Stephen Jesse Bernstein reference.
posted by hippybear at 7:04 PM on August 12, 2012

Grrr... my mouth is smiling but my eyes are like sharp, sharp daggers. My nose is pure pulp.
posted by mochapickle at 7:18 PM on August 12, 2012

I looked incredibly attractive. I hope to grow a beard now. And possibly join a circus.
posted by bayliss at 7:26 PM on August 12, 2012

Ok this totally creeped me out but made me laugh pretty hard. I've always wondered what I'd look like as a bald man. I also tried to do my best mugshot face and it didn't work with a lot of the templates but this one is spot on.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 7:31 PM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Sad photos.
posted by anadem at 7:36 PM on August 12, 2012

So much fun.

New Twitter avatar.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:52 PM on August 12, 2012

It is sad. It's kind of weird to think of these real people and what a strange thing it would be to see their images, captured at an undoubtedly stressful moment, used this way. The interface was really nice and I like this kind of thing in general, the fun/personal take on history, but I also came out sort of unrecognizable.

Also it's too bad you couldn't discover more about the individuals.

Also, it's strange how there are more images of black people in the generator than there seem to be black characters listed under the series character page.
posted by Miko at 7:57 PM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

Copper Mugshots on Pinterest.

Via some web research I learned that the original images come from Mark Michaelson's Least Wanted collection of vintage mug shots, some of which were published in this book.

Final sense is that it's TV marketing - a cool idea put to some pretty shallow ends, the "Hey Martha!" of the web. A really smooth, fun interface, but would like to have seen technology like this leading somewhere deeper.
posted by Miko at 8:06 PM on August 12, 2012 [3 favorites]

Is Copper really just a dramatized version of Luc Sante's Low Life? 'Cause I would watch the hell out of that.
posted by gingerbeer at 8:11 PM on August 12, 2012

The history nerd in me loves this. And I am totally looking forward to watching Copper.
posted by Isadorady at 8:35 PM on August 12, 2012

The history nerd in me loves this.

I kind of wanted to love it too, as a history nerd. But there's no history, just an image. It could be a present-day image of a model or actor.
posted by Miko at 8:37 PM on August 12, 2012

But there's no history, just an image
Then maybe I should change that to the story nerd in me loves it. Because I can make up a story about everyone of these people. Just looking at the stitching on their clothes, the haunted looks in their eyes (well, before I superimposed mine) leads me off into a history. Sometimes an image can stand alone without analysis. In my opinion...
posted by Isadorady at 9:23 PM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

I don't need a clever website to mugshot myself.

posted by mazola at 12:45 AM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

Just looking at the stitching on their clothes, the haunted looks in their eyes (well, before I superimposed mine) leads me off into a history.

Well, not a history, but yes, a story. Making stories and engaging in history are different. In fact that's one interesting aspect of these historical TV epics - they aren't making history, they're using some information from history to make stores. Which is all fine.

I just wish it were possible for a history museum or a documentary show to do something similar, but provide you with enough background to lead me into a place I can't yet imagine because I don't have the information. How much more interesting it would be, I think, if you chose an image and it said something like "Here you are as Kitty Smith in 1858, arrested during a police raid on Ada Bashfield's West Houston Street brothel. Though some professional prostitutes of the day had the resources to remain carefully groomed, Kitty doesn't appear to have had those benefits - like many women, she may have been a day laborer who used prostitution in her off hours to augment her income." Or, "Here you are as James Rogers, brought in on a charge of operating a panel thieving operation. Usually operating in conjunction with a female prostitute, these petty thieves slipped into the woman's chamber while she was with a client, and pawed through his pockets to remove valuables."

I fully understand that many of these mugshots have been stripped from their information, so we've lost a lot of the opportunity to put them into context. But many of them do retain their original arrest cards, which would give you eough skeletal information to share the few known facts - date, reason for arrest, place of arrest, name, maybe occupation - and that would be enough for a decent historian, or even a graduate student, to produce a little additional context about the prevalence or type of crime. It wouldn't even take very long, especially in TV marketing production terms. And that, for me, would have made this a must-share with other people in my field. In the end I decided not to because it's much more about projection/imagination and fictionalization than about the actual past.

I get what they're doing and it's fine, but I often wish we could more often unleash the design talent that created this on really interesting historical content which would give a lot of the casually interested a much more intimate and concrete link to the past.
posted by Miko at 5:20 AM on August 13, 2012 [3 favorites]

I look totally badass as my alter ego Icepick Lily, knife-scarred, cross-dressing Victorian sociopath! Made my day.
posted by moneyjane at 5:46 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

« Older Don't just stand there, fall asleep   |   arts & crafts blogging, subset: geek Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments