Technology and Forensic Science
In 1899, the first police car was
used in Akron, Ohio. Police cars became the basis of police transportation
in the 20th century.
The Lie Detector/Polygraph -
John Larson, a University of California
medical student, invented the modern lie detector (polygraph) in 1921.
Used in police interrogation and investigation since 1924, the lie detector
is still controversial among psychologists, and is not always judicially
acceptable. The name polygraph comes from the fact that the machine records
several different body responses simultaneously as the individual is questioned.
The theory is that when a person
lies, the lying causes a certain amount of stress that produces changes
in several involuntary physiological reactions. A series of different sensors
are attached to the body, and as the polygraph measures changes in breathing,
blood pressure, pulse and perspiration, pens record the data on graph paper.
During a lie detector test, the operator asks a series of control questions
that set the pattern of how an individual responds when giving true and
false answers. Then the actual questions are asked, mixed in with filler
questions. The examination lasts about 2 hours, after which the expert
interprets the data.
An earlier and less successful lie
detector or polygraph machine was invented by James Mackenzie in 1902.
The history of the methods and techniques
of police agencies and the equipment available to them. This is a long
paper, with historical and technical information in different places.
The bullet proof vest was made possible
by Stephanie Kwolek's invention of Kevlar, a material five times stronger
Extracts from a National Institute
of Justice Report - A History of Body Armor.
Forensic science is a scientific
method of gathering and examining evidence. Crimes are solved with the
use of pathological examinations that gather fingerprints, palm prints,
footprints, tooth bite prints, blood, hair and fiber samples. Handwriting
and typewriting samples are studied, including all ink, paper, and typography.
Ballistics techniques are used to identify weapons as well as voice identification
techniques are used to identify criminals.
Fidelis, was the first person to practice modern forensic medicine in 1598.
Forensic medicine is the "application of medical knowledge to legal questions."
It became a recognized branch of medicine in the early 19th century.
In the 19th
century it was observed that contact between someone's hands and a surface
left barely visible and marks called fingerprints. Fine powder (dusting)
was used to make the marks more visible.
Modern fingerprint identification
dates from 1880, when the British scientific journal Nature published
letters by the Englishmen Henry Faulds and William James Herschel describing
the uniqueness and permanence of fingerprints. Their observations were
verified by the English scientist Sir Francis Galton, who designed the
first elementary system for classifying fingerprints based on grouping
the patterns into arches, loops, and whorls. Galton's system was improved
upon by London police commissioner, Sir Edward R. Henry. The Galton-Henry
system of fingerprint classification, was published in June 1900, and officially
introduced at Scotland Yard in 1901. It is the most widely used method
of fingerprinting to date.
Biography of the English explorer,
anthropologist, and eugenicist, who is known for his pioneering studies
of human intelligence.
In 1248, a book, Hsi DuanYu (the
Washing Away of Wrongs) published by the Chinese, described how to distinguish
drowning from strangulation. It was the first recorded application of medical
knowledge to the solution of crime.
In recent years, the blend of science
and technology has enabled police to solve many crimes that once would
have been considered beyond resolution.
The basic principles of forensic
History of Fingerprints
In 14th century Persia, various
official government papers had fingerprints (impressions), and one government
official, a doctor, observed that no two fingerprints were exactly alike.
Brief History of Fingerprinting in the U.S.
The final step in bringing fingerprints
to national prominence was the formation of the FBI Fingerprint Section
under A. J. Renoe in 1924.
It's the evidence left behind
that is the true witness to crime. Forensic scientists convert these clues,
using the latest technology into evidence admissible in a court of law.
Pages At The FBI
Crime busting information aimed
The first fire sprinkler system
was invented by an American, Henry S. Parmalee, in 1874.
The history of guns and firearms.
The first home security system was
patented (patent #3,482,037) on December 2, 1969.
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