Alphone Bertillon's System

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Alphonse Bertillon was born in Paris on April 24, 1853. He was the son of the distinguished physician, anthropologist, and physician, Louis Adolphe Bertillon (bookrags.com). Young Alphonse was seen as hopeless through his fathers eyes. He often suffered from migraine headaches, and nosebleeds, and was very shy and lacked social skills. However, the young Bertillon was not a complete loss, he was an intellectual who had a thirst for knowledge and shared his father's interest in statistics and anthropology (http://jimfisher.edinboro.edu). In the year 1875, Bertillon was conscripted into the french army. After several years of armed service Bertillon was discharged. With no higher education or degrees Bertillon struggled with finding …show more content…
He also noticed that the mug shots that were taken by indifferent commercial photographers, were of very low quality and often the offenders intentionally distorted their faces while being photographed to disguise their appearance. Bertillon had a general understanding of the anthropological statistics and anthropometric techniques from the work of his father (bookrags.com). This was in the most basic sense the study of human statistics and the measurements and proportions of the human body. Bertillon was soon able to devise a system of identification of criminals which relied on 11 bodily measurements as well as the color of the eyes, hair, and skin. He also added standardized photographs of the criminals to his anthropometric data. (http://www.nleomf.org/) Bertillon believed that if several body measurements were taken and recorded the likelihood that any two people would have the same dimensions and measurements would be extremely rare or even nonexistent. Now that Bertillon had conceived a way to record criminal records effectively, he had to devise a way to store all his gathered data in a way that an individual's record could be located, within minutes, from thousands of other body measurement records. Alphonse Bertillon soon developed a unique filing system for the criminal records. He would first subdivide the eleven body measurements into small, medium and large. Bertillon
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