In the second millenium BC, fingerprints were used as signatures by the Babylonians. The first recorded use in crime was actually in the Code of Hammurabi, where it mentions the taking of fingerprints for those who had been arrested. This dates from approximately the 1700s BC.
The Chinese took fingerprints at crime scenes during the Qin Dynasty.
In the 1600s, several people in Europe had documented the use of fingerprints as unique identifiers.
Using fingerprints as an identification tool first began in 1858, when Sir William James Herschel demanded that contracts with natives in India be signed with handprints due to signature objections. It wasn’t until a paper was published by Dr. Henry Faulds, a Tokyo surgeon, in 1880 that fingerprints began to be seen as a viable identification for crimes. He presented his method to the London Police in 1886 but was rejected. The world’s first fingerprint bureau was created in 1892 by an Argentine police chief named Juan Vucetich.
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