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Latent Fingerprints - Wilhelm Eber, 1888

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  • Latent Fingerprints - Wilhelm Eber, 1888

    Just saw Wilhelm Eber and his idea about latent fingerprints in 1888 mentioned in an episode of the German Tatort crimes series.

    The history of forensic fingerprint identification began with the Albany, New York, detective John Malloy, who performed the earliest known forensic fingerprint identification sometime around 1856. The idea of using bloody fingerprints to investigate crimes also occurred to Thomas Taylor, Henry Faulds, and Mark Twain in the late nineteenth century. Faulds solved a small mystery in the embassy compound in Tokyo in the 1870s, and Twain used a bloody fingerprint as a plot device in Life on the Mississippi in 1883, however a Prussian veterinarian, Wilhelm Eber, suggested using what would later be called "latent" prints: invisible fingerprints left on "doorhandles, glasses or other objects suitable for picking up and leaving behind a handprint," which are developed using a dusting powder to expose traces left by the oily secretions of the fingertip.
    Simon A.Cole, Suspect Identities: A History of Fingerprinting and Criminal Identification

    Thanks Pilgrim !