CJ 328-01: Forensic Fingerprint Analysis
Unit 2 Assignment 2
Purdue University Global
Unit 2 Assignment 2
I took my fingerprints and after examining them, I determined that my pattern is a loop pattern. I would say that it is an ulnar loop because the loop was in the direction of my little finger. It is not a whorl because there was not a circular pattern and there was not a spiral, it was not an arch because there was not a wave pattern (Lee, & Gaensslen, 2012). I enjoyed doing this experiment, because up until now I have never really given my fingerprints any thought, and it was an interesting experiment.
When a person touches something with their hand or their fingers, they leave an impression, and this impression is known as a fingerprint. No two people in the world have the same fingerprints, everyone has their own unique set of fingerprints. Fingerprints are used in identifying a person, when they have committed a crime or even a deceased person (Lee, & Gaensslen, 2012).
Fingerprints have been used for different reasons over the past years. There is a long history of fingerprinting, and here is a brief history of it:
470-322B.C.- There were Greek philosophers such as Hippocrates, Aristotle, and Plato observed that certain human traits can be passed from a parent to a child.
1000-2000 B.C.- Fingerprints were used for signatures for business transactions in Babylon.
3rd Century B. C.- Thumbprints were being used on clay seals in China to sign documents.
610-907 A.D.- The T’ang Dynasty, a time when China was one of the most powerful and rich countries in the world, used fingerprints on official documents.
1st Century A. D.- A petroglyph located on a cliff face in Nova Scotia shows a hand with ridges and finger whorls, supposedly left by the Mi’kmaq people.
14th Century A. D.- There were many government documents in Persia that were signed with fingerprints, and one government physician made the observation that no two fingerprints were the same.
1686- At the University of Bologna, located in Italy a professor of anatomy named Marcello Malpighi noted the common characteristics of loops, ridges and spirals within fingerprints.
1823- Johannes Evengelista Purkinje who was a professor of anatomy at the University of Breslau, Prussia, published a thesis stating a full nine different fingerprint patterns.
1858- Sir William Herschel who was the Chief Magistrate of the Hooghly district in Jungipoor, India, used fingerprints to sign contracts with native Indians.
1880- Dr. Henry Faulds who was a British surgeon wrote an article in which he discussed fingerprints as a method of personal identification, and the use of printing ink as a way of obtaining the prints (Fingerprint America, 1996).
1882- Gilbert Thompson, who was employed by the U.S. Geological Survey in New Mexico, used his fingerprints on a document to protect him against forgery. This was the first known use of fingerprint identification in America.
1883- In the novel written by Mark Twain, it told about a murderer that is identified by the use of fingerprints.
1888- Sir Francis Galton started his study of fingerprints and developed a tool for determining genetic history and hereditary traits.
1892- Juan Vucetich, who was an Argentine police official started his fingerprint files based on Galton’s details, and a year later he made the first criminal fingerprint identification.
1896- Sir Edward Richard Henry was wanting to use a system that was similar to Herschel’s in order to eliminate problems within his jurisdiction.
1901- The success of “Henry Fingerprint Classification System”, was creating a stir in India. This classification is still used today.
1902- Alphonse Bertillon, who was director of the Bureau of Identification of the Paris Police was responsible for the first criminal identification of a fingerprint without a known suspect.
1903- Fingerprinting technology became widespread in the United States. The New York Police Department, and the state prison system and the federal bureau of prisons started working with this form of science.
1904- The St. Louis Police Department and the Leavenworth State Penitentiary in Kansas started using fingerprints.
1905- The U.S. Army started using fingerprinting and within three years so did the U.S. Navy, and Marine Corps. In the next 25-years more law enforcement agencies started using fingerprinting as well (Daluz, 2019).
1911- The first central storage location for fingerprints in North America was established in Ottawa and this was done by Edward Foster of the Dominion Police Force.
1924- The U.S. Congress established the Identification Division of the F.B. I. The National Bureau and Leavenworth joined together to form the F.B.I. fingerprint repository, and by 1946, 100 million fingerprint cards had been processed.
1990’s- The Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems (AFIS), became widespread, this is a computerized system of storing and cross-referencing criminal fingerprint records and it became capable of searching millions of fingerprint files within minutes.
1996- Children were being kidnapped and law enforcement agencies urge the fingerprinting of children for investigative reasons should the child go missing. Chris Migliaro founded Fingerprint America in Albany, New York.
1999- The FBI phased out the use of paper fingerprint cards with the new Integrated AFIS (IAFIS), site at Clarksburg, West Virginia. IAFIS started with around 33 million criminal fingerprint records.
2012- INTERPOL’s Automated Fingerprint Identification System repository has more than 150,000 sets of fingerprints for international criminal records from 190 member countries.
Fingerprinting has improved so much within the past 100-years, and it will only continue to improve as time goes on. Following the 9/11 attacks that took place in 2001 the U.S. government has increased their efforts to advance fingerprint recognition technology. Fingerprints are used for identifying people through criminal investigations, and the immigration system. Fingerprints can also be a method for unlocking smartphones, and electronic door locks. Fingerprints that are in the AFIS database can identify a deceased person or help find a missing person if their fingerprints are on file (Wertheim, 2003).
Fingerprint America. (1996). Retrieved from: https://fingerprintamerica.com/about/
Daluz, H. M. (2019). Fundamentals of fingerprint analysis. (2nd ed). Boca Raton, FL:
Lee, H. C., & Gaensslen, R. E. (2012). Advances in fingerprint technology. (3rd ed).
Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
Wertheim, K. (2003). Fingerprint age determination: Is there any hope? Journal of
Forensic Identification 1(53), 29-42.