History Of Fingerprint

A fingerprint is that impression left by human finger’s friction ridges. Fingerprints provide reliable methods of human identification. The science behind the use of fingerprints to identify criminals has stood out among other forensic science methods. Fingerprint has offered governments worldwide with accurate criminal information since no two fingerprints have been found to be alike. The use of fingerprints as a forensic evidence has remained to be the most common method for more than a century. Other human characteristics tend to change as age catches on, but fingerprint continue to be persistent. During early civilizations, maiming or branding were the most efficient methods of marking criminals. Some records showed the use of fingerprints many centuries ago, even though they weren’t as modernized as they are today. Fingerprints were used by ancient Babylonians to record a business transaction whereby they pressed their fingertips into the clay. The Chinese used it as a way to identify their children and also for business, but they used ink in place of clay.


Ancient artifacts that have carvings that are similar to finger friction ridge have been discovered in different places across the world. Records from the Chinese Qin and Han dynasties have details that explain burglary investigations that used handprints as evidence. During the 14th century, the Persian book title the universal history had comments that described the practice of identifying people by use of their fingerprints. Across the Europe, fingerprints were first observed by several writers through several publications during the 1600s that were lead by Dr. Nehemiah Grew. By 1823, John Purkinje published his thesis that discussed nine different fingerprint patterns but didn’t discuss any value of fingerprints for human being identification. It was until 1858 when fingerprints were first used for the public to different native’s contracts in India by Sir William James Herschel who was chief magistrate.

Post historic

During the 1900s, United Kingdom inquired about the possibly of using fingerprints to identify criminals. After several appeals, the system was successfully adopted replacing the Bertillon system that partially relied on the use of fingerprint identification. The United States introduced Henry fingerprint classification system and was first used by criminals followed by the United States army and navy. In 2012, world largest fingerprint expert meeting was hosted in the USA. By today, the United States has the world largest respiratory system on criminals that is operated by the FBI. Today India has the largest fingerprint database with over 820 million fingerprints, iris and face biometric having been recorded.


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