Alphonse Bertillon was a French police officer and biometrics researcher who was responsible for standardizing the modern mugshot. According to the MoMA, this adorable mugshot (taken in 1893) is of François Bertillon, a 23-month-old toddler, who was “arrested” on charges of gluttony — for “nibbling all the pears from a basket.”
Fortunately for François, he was spared the guillotine since this mugshot is a fake. According to Fake History Hunter, François is not just a kid with the same name as the man who took the photo, it is his nephew, the son of his brother Jacques Bertillon, the famous statistician and demographer.
So in stead of this being the heart breaking and horrible situation of the inventor of the mugshot being forced to photograph his own brother’s son for nibbling pears… it is actually just a bit of a joke photo.
And there are two other photos of the same child? This toddler is a career criminal who has been breaking the law since birth?! Does that sound right to you?
The photos of the junior criminal, showing him being photographed like a criminal at even younger ages. It is clear that the Bertillon family has been taking pictures of little Francois for several months, perhaps as part of uncle Alphonse his continuing development and improvement of his new idea for mugshots or maybe just a family joke.
Although countless children were indeed arrested for all kinds of crimes in history. Not a mugshot of a poor little kid being arrested for nibbling pears but these are just a fun or experimental photos taken by uncle Alphonse.
(via Fake History Hunter)