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December 13, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXIX(24):1530. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480500036010

A number of observers have recently called attention to the fact that the finger prints of different individuals are perfectly characteristic and that they may be used as a means of identification. Francis Galton has studied the subject most elaborately, and his books on "Finger Prints" and "The Decipherment of Blurred and Indistinct Finger Prints" are well known to those interested in such matters. Prof. H. H. Wilder2 of Smith College again calls attention to this subject and gives some interesting data as regards the prints from the sole of the foot as well as from the palm of the hand. He mentions recent interesting studies made by Colonel Mallory of the United States Bureau of American Ethnology, who has found scratchings on the slaty rocks near Lake Kejenkoojic in Nova Scotia, which are supposed to be the work of aboriginal Micmac Indians and date back to pre-Columbian times.