While “black and white” is today known as an edgy filter for photos used to spice up an Instagram feed—traditionally, it was the only kind of picture available. Back when black and white photos were the default (and only) option, it was possible to take the photos and get them “colourised.” This usually involved using chemicals to add the colour. These days, the process can be done digitally. While a much easier process than using chemicals, it still involves extensive research to make sure the colours are accurate.
Irish artist, Matt Loughrey, is creating a project titled "My Colorful Past", where he adds colour to old mugshots of criminals. Some of these pictures date back to the 1930s, and are all from Newcastle-upon-Tyne in England.
Thomas Orange was born in 1907 and was a labourer. With brown hair and eyes, he had distinctive scars above his right eyebrow, on his left wrist, and his left knee.
He was wanted for larceny and forcing locks to break into shops or warehouses.
James Boyd Potter, also known as Fatty Potter, was known for breaking into pubs, shops, and warehouses.
He was born in 1901, worked as a laborer, and had a big scar on the right side of his neck.
James Hargreaves Jones was born in 1896. He had piercing blue eyes and a wound scar on the right side of his face.
He was known for breaking into unoccupied houses he found while he was begging in residential areas.
James Lowrie was known as an expert pickpocket.
He was born in 1892, and had the alias of Johnstone, and was called the "Sunderland Kid". He stole from people.
Thomas Boyd was born in 1900 and was a carpenter.
His alias was "Coyne", and he would break into houses and steal from them. He also had interactions with "all classes of thieves".
James Casey was born in 1906.
He was a gardener and a specialist in different classed of larceny.
Miner, John Dodgson was born in 1902.
Described as a "bad character," he conducted many cases of larceny and fraud, and he worked alone.
Albert Dick, born in 1911, was a labourer.
He was wanted for being a thief and a safe-breaker, and he associated with other thieves.
Thomas "Doggy" Giles, who used the alias Thomas O'Malley, was born in 1890.
He was a labourer and was known for breaking into houses. He stole from vehicles by breaking a window, and used counterfeit coins.
Check out some of the other cool work that Matt Loughrey does on Instagram @my_colorful_past.