Weird History
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19 Eye-Opening Photos Of Prisoners From History

Updated October 24, 2019 8.7k votes 1.3k voters 40.6k views19 items

List RulesVote up the images that made you imagine historical prisons differently.

What comes to mind when you hear the word prisoner? It might be a criminal wearing a black-and-white-striped jumpsuit, or - for fans of Orange is the New Black - a woman wearing an orange one. Throughout history, though, black-and-white-striped uniforms weren't always common. In fact, only two of the photos you'll find here include prisoners in that stereotypical garb. 

Historical photos of prisoners show us more than just how prison uniforms have changed; they give us a glimpse of how prisoners spent their free time, what prisons looked like, and what the prisoners themselves looked like. Here, you'll find photos of Hitler and Stalin from their time behind bars, a suffragist in the first moments following her release, a demise-dealing dog, a presidential harm-doer, and more that might just challenge your preconceived notions of historical prisons.

  • 1

    Pep, Sentenced To Life In Prison For Slaying The Pennsylvania Governor's Cat, 1924

    Photo: u/kirbyfood / Reddit
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  • 2

    Mothers Walking With Their Children In The Exercise Yard Of Wormwood Scrubs Prison In London, 1890

    Photo: u/Quouar / Reddit
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  • 3

    Prisoners Knitting In Sing Sing Prison, New York, 1915

    Photo: Underwood & Underwood / Library of Congress / Fair use
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  • 4

    Autochrome Photo Of Guards And A Prisoner In Urga Prison, Mongolia, 1913

    Photo: u/wineddinedand69ed / Reddit
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