History of forensic science

History of Forensic Science

  • Jan 1, 700

    Chinese Finger Prints Found

    Chinese Finger Prints Found
    Chinese used fingerprints to establish identity of documents and clay sculpture, but without any formal classification
    system. This classification system would be found later in the 20th Century.
  • Jan 1, 1000

    The introduction of Bloody Hand Prints

    The introduction of Bloody Hand Prints
    Quintilian, an attorney in the Roman courts, showed that bloody palm prints were meant to frame a blind man of his
    mother’s murder.
  • Jan 1, 1248

    How to Distinguish a drowning victim

    How to Distinguish a drowning victim
    A Chinese book, which was written by Hsi Duan Yu (the washing away of wrongs), shows a description of how to distinguish drowning from being strangulation. This was the first recorded application of medical knowledge to the solution of crime.
  • The First Treatise

    The First Treatise
    1609 The first treatise on systematic document examination was published by François Demelle of France
  • The Matching Game

    The Matching Game
    In Lancaster, England, John Toms was convicted of murder on the evidence shown of torn edge of wad of newspaper in a
    pistol matching a remaining piece in his pants pocket. This was one of the first uses of physical matching that was ever documented in history.
  • The Engravings

    The Engravings
    In the year 1800, Thomas Bewick, who was an English naturalist, used engravings from the use of his own fingerprints to identify books he published.
  • The Procedure

    The Procedure
    In 1839, H. Bayard published the first reliable procedures for the microscopic detection of sperm otherwise none as semen. During this prcedure, he also noted the different
    microscopic characteristics of various different substrate fabrics.
  • Vegetable Poisons

    Vegetable Poisons
    In 1851, Jean Servais Stas, who was a chemistry professor from Brussels, Belgium, became the first successful experiment to identify
    vegetable poisons in body tissue.
  • Hemin Crystals

    Hemin Crystals
    In 1853, Ludwig Teichmann, who lived in Kracow, Poland, developed the first microscopic crystal test for hemoglobin using hemin crystals.
  • The Use of Thumbprints

    The Use of Thumbprints
    In 1856, Sir William Herschel, a British officer working for the Indian Civil service, began to use thumbprints on documents
    both as a substitute for written signatures for illiterates and to verify document signatures.
  • The First Blood Test

    The First Blood Test
    In 1863, the German scientist Schönbein first discovered the ability of hemoglobin to oxidize hydrogen peroxide making it
    foam. This resulted in first presumptive test for blood.
  • Tips of the Fingers

    Tips of the Fingers
    1877 Thomas Taylor, microscopist to U.S. Department of Agriculture suggested that markings of the palms of the hands
    and the tips of the fingers could be used for identification in criminal cases. Although, it was then reported in the American
    Journal of Microscopy and Popular Science and Scientific American, the idea was apparently never looked into from this
  • 12 Matching Finger Prints

    12 Matching Finger Prints
    In 1918, Edmond Locard first suggested and showed 12 matching points as a positive fingerprint identification.
  • The First FBI Crime Lab

    The First FBI Crime Lab
    In 1932, The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) crime laboratory was created and built in Washington D.C.
  • Use the Tape

    Use the Tape
    In 1950, Max Frei-Sulzer, founder of the first Swiss criminalistics laboratory, developed the tape lift method of collecting
    trace evidence. This has helped further the development of crime scene investigation better than ever before, and crime scene investigators still use this technique today.