The inspector’s model Byrnes, Thomas  (American, 1842-1910)

36 heliotype plates with photographs of mug shots of criminals (204), and two plates; one of Inspector Byrnes, and the second a tableau of a criminal being held for his picture.

A late-nineteenth century rogues gallery of America’s foremost murderers, bank robbers, con men, forgers, embezzlers, and pickpockets. Written in 1886, Professional Criminals of America contains biographical sketches, including photographs, of some four hundred of the nation’s leading criminals. Each profile details the crimes committed and the circumstances leading up to arrest and conviction. Also included are short, informative chapters on criminal methods, executions, opium addiction, fugitives from justice, and prison commutation laws, along with intriguing chapters on mysterious unsolved murders, adventurers and adventuresses, and a list of every prison and state penitentiary in America at the time of publication.

Heliotype is an early planographic printing process involving wax and gelatin invented by Ernest Edwards. Edwards eventually left the Heliotype Printing co. and started the New York Photogravure Company where he produced photogravures and collotypes using the “Indotype” method of Thomas Roche. Edwards also experimented with three color photography and collotype in 1890’s calling his prints “chrome-gelatine.” [1]


[1] Hanson, David Checklist of photomechanical processes and printing 1825-1910, 2017 p. 62