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Home - Disputed Handwriting - Science of Fingerprints

Articles from The Science Of Fingerprints

Wanted Notices

Chemical Development Of Latent Impressions

Central Pocket Loop

The Use Of The Fingerprint Camera

Temporary Disabilities

Dispositions

Classification Of Scarred Patterns

Fingerprint Files

Illegible Inked Prints

The Loop


How To Take Inked Fingerprints





The equipment required for taking fingerprints consists of an inking
plate, a cardholder, printer's ink (heavy black paste), and a roller.
This equipment is simple and inexpensive.

In order to obtain clear, distinct fingerprints, it is necessary to
spread the printer's ink in a thin even coating on a small inking
plate. A roller similar to that used by printers in making galley
proofs is best adapted for use as a spreader. Its size is a matter
determined by individual needs and preferences; however, a roller
approximately 6 inches long and 2 inches in diameter has been found to
be very satisfactory. These rollers may be obtained from a fingerprint
supply company or a printing supply house.



An inking plate may be made from a hard, rigid, scratch-resistant
metal plate 6 inches wide by 14 inches long or by inlaying a block of
wood with a piece of glass one-fourth of an inch thick, 6 inches wide,
and 14 inches long. The glass plate by itself would be suitable, but
it should be fixed to a base in order to prevent breakage. The inking
surface should be elevated to a sufficient height to allow the
subject's forearm to assume a horizontal position when the fingers are
being inked. For example, the inking plate may be placed on the edge
of a counter or a table of counter height. In such a position, the
operator has greater assurance of avoiding accidental strain or
pressure on the fingers and should be able to procure more uniform
impressions. The inking plate should also be placed so that the
subject's fingers which are not being printed can be made to swing
off the table to prevent their interfering with the inking process. A
fingerprint stand such as that shown in figure 360 may be purchased
from fingerprint supply companies. The stand is made of hardwood and
measures approximately 2 feet in length, 1 foot in height and width.
This stand contains a cardholder and a chrome strip which is used as
the inking plate. Two compartments used to store blank fingerprint
cards and supplies complete the stand. This equipment should be
supplemented by a cleansing fluid and necessary cloths so that the
subject's fingers may be cleaned before rolling and the inking plate
cleaned after using. Denatured alcohol and commercially available
cleaning fluids are suitable for this purpose.



PERSONAL ROE RICHARD RANDOLPH SEX
IDENTIFICATION MALE
LAST NAME FIRST NAME MIDDLE NAME--------------
----------------------------------RACE
------------------------- W
FINGERPRINTS SUBMITTED BY --------------
HT. WT.
----------------------------------(Inches)
SIGNATURE OF PERSON FINGERPRINTED 71 170
--------------
1655 Grant Avenue DATE OF BIRTH
----------------------------------6/6/42
------------------------- Chicago, Illinois --------------
FINGERPRINTED BY --------------------------------- HAIR EYES
RESIDENCE OF PERSON FINGERPRINTED BR BR
-------------------------------------------------
-------------------------DATE FINGERPRINTEDLEAVE THIS SPACE BLANK
PERSON TO BE NOTIFIED IN 8/12/62
CASE OF EMERGENCY ------------------CLASS
NAME Thomas L. Roe PLACE OF BIRTH -------------------------
-------------------- Omaha, Neb.
ADDRESS 1655 Grant Avenue------------------
----------------- CITIZENSHIP
Chicago, IllinoisAmerican REF.
------------------------------------------- --------------------------
See Reverse Side for SCARS AND MARKS
Further Instructions Appendectomy
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. RIGHT THUMB2. RIGHT INDEX3. RIGHT 4. RIGHT RING 5. RIGHT
MIDDLE LITTLE
[Illustration][Illustration][Illustration][Illustration][Illustration]
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. LEFT THUMB 2. LEFT INDEX 3. LEFT MIDDLE4. LEFT RING 5. LEFT LITTLE

[Illustration][Illustration][Illustration][Illustration][Illustration]
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
LEFT FOUR FINGERS LEFT RIGHT RIGHT FOUR FINGERS
TAKEN SIMULTANEOUSLY THUMB THUMB TAKEN SIMULTANEOUSLY

[Illustration] [Illustration][Illustration][Illustration]

The fingerprints should be taken on 8- by 8-inch cardstock, as this
size has generally been adopted by law enforcement because of facility
in filing and desirability of uniformity. Figure 361 shows
fingerprints properly taken on one of the standard personnel
identification cards from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. From
this illustration, it is evident there are two types of impressions
involved in the process of taking fingerprints. The upper 10 prints
are taken individually--thumb, index, middle, ring, and little fingers
of each hand in the order named. These are called rolled
impressions, the fingers being rolled from side to side in order to
obtain all available ridge detail. The smaller impressions at the
bottom of the card are taken by simultaneously printing all of the
fingers of each hand and then the thumb without rolling. These are
called plain or fixed impressions and are used as a check upon the
sequence and accuracy of the rolled impressions. Rolled impressions
must be taken carefully in order to insure that an accurate
fingerprint classification can be obtained by examination of the
various patterns. It is also necessary that each focal point (cores
and all deltas) be clearly printed in order that accurate ridge counts
and tracings may be obtained.

In preparing to take a set of fingerprints, a small daub of ink should
be placed on the inking glass or slab and thoroughly rolled until a
very thin, even film covers the entire surface. The subject should
stand in front of and at forearm's length from the inking plate. In
taking the rolled impressions, the side of the bulb of the finger is
placed upon the inking plate and the finger is rolled to the other
side until it faces the opposite direction. Care should be exercised
so the bulb of each finger is inked evenly from the tip to below the
first joint. By pressing the finger lightly on the card and rolling in
exactly the same manner, a clear rolled impression of the finger
surface may be obtained. It is better to ink and print each finger
separately beginning with the right thumb and then, in order, the
index, middle, ring, and little fingers. (Stamp pad ink, printing ink,
ordinary writing ink, or other colored inks are not suitable for use
in fingerprint work as they are too light or thin and do not dry
quickly.)

If consideration is given the anatomical or bony structure of the
forearm when taking rolled impressions, more uniform impressions will
be obtained. The two principal bones of the forearm are known as the
radius and the ulna, the former being on the thumb side and the latter
on the little finger side of the arm. As suggested by its name, the
radius bone revolves freely about the ulna as a spoke of a wheel about
the hub. In order to take advantage of the natural movement in making
finger impressions, the hand should be rotated from the awkward to the
easy position. This requires that the thumbs be rolled toward and the
fingers away from the center of the subject's body. This process
relieves strain and leaves the fingers relaxed upon the completion of
rolling so that they may be lifted easily from the card without danger
of slipping which smudges and blurs the prints. Figures 362 and 363
show the proper method of holding a finger for inking and printing a
rolled impression.

The degree of pressure to be exerted in inking and taking rolled
impressions is important, and this may best be determined through
experience and observation. It is quite important, however, that the
subject be cautioned to relax and refrain from trying to help the
operator by exerting pressure as this prevents the operator from
gaging the amount needed. A method which is helpful in effecting the
relaxation of a subject's hand is that of instructing him to look at
some distant object and not to look at his hands. The person taking
the fingerprints should stand to the left of the subject when printing
the right hand, and to the right of the subject when printing the left
hand. In any case, the positions of both subject and operator should
be natural and relaxed if the best fingerprints are to be obtained.

To obtain plain impressions, all the fingers of the right hand
should be pressed lightly upon the inking plate, then pressed
simultaneously upon the lower right hand corner of the card in the
space provided. The left hand should be similarly printed, and the
thumbs of both hands should be inked and printed, without rolling, in
the space provided. Figures 364 and 365 show the correct method of
taking plain impressions of the fingers and thumbs.


[Illustration: 362. Proper method of holding finger.]

[Illustration: 363. Proper method of printing rolled impressions.]



[Illustration: 364. Proper method of taking plain impressions of
fingers.]

[Illustration: 365. Proper method of taking plain impressions of
thumbs.]





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