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May 14, 1927


Author Affiliations

Lakewood, N. J.

JAMA. 1927;88(20):1585. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02680460055028

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To the Editor:  —Having observed the rapidity with which the soluble silver salts become decolorized in the presence of organic fatty acids under the action of the middle chain of ultraviolet rays, I wondered whether or not it could be used as a rapid method of finger-printing. A practical demonstration was arranged before Major Kimberling and Sergeants Hoch and Cooper of the New Jersey Bureau of Identification, with remarkable results. Impressions were developed in ten seconds from all forms of paper, wearing apparel such as collars, shirts and cuffs, and, where the skin surface is smooth, directly from the human skin. Mothers' finger prints on infants were distinctly read and classified. Impressions developed on paper are permanent and cannot be erased, as with the powder-brush method.

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