John Hobson, OSR 1185, December 28/29, 1902, ink, photographs, cards, 5.75 x 6.25 inches
R.U. Hastings, Bertillon Officer (n.d.)
Collection of the Ohio History Connection
In his photograph, Mr. Hobson can be seen wearing a jacket bearing the metal initials “OSR,” indicating that he is wearing the Reformatory’s uniform. He was imprisoned with an indefinite sentence for a count of grand larceny in Hamilton County, Ohio. His card also displays the means by which skin tone, race, and ethnicity were all represented differently. On the back of the card, his “color” is described as “Mulatto,” while his “Descent” is “Negro.” On the front, his nose is given the description of “slt negro type” while his complexion is described as “light mulatto.” Mr. Hobson was employed as a hotel waiter at the time of his arrest.