The Importance Of The Individualization Characteristics And Identification Of Fingerprints
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In 1888, Sir Francis Galton, a British anthropologist, began his observations of fingerprints while studying the hereditary nature of the human body and they it could reveal about an individual. In 1892, after several years of study, Galton published the book Fingerprints. In his book, he established the importance of the individualization characteristics and permanence of fingerprints. Additionally, his book references the features by which fingerprints can be identified. These characteristics, known in forensics as minutia, are still in use today. Moreover, some veterans of the field still refer to them as Galton’s details (Barnes, 2011). Furthermore, in his book, Galton detailed a method of classification which he based on an alphabetical list created by three fingerprint patterns: arch is represented by the letter A, loop is represented by the letter L, and a whorl is represented by the letter W. In order to classify a set of fin¬gerprints using this alphabetic enumeration system, each finger was labeled with the corresponding letter according to its friction ridge pattern. The letters produced using this system, for the right hand’s index, middle, and ring fingers were grouped together, followed by the letters for the same fingers on the hand. After this sequence of letters, the letters produced by this technique for the right thumb and right little finger were added to the sequence, followed by the letters for the left thumb and left little finger (Hutchins, 2011).