Articles from The Science Of Fingerprints
Drying The Fingers
The Plain Whorl
Another phase involves permanent disabilities which can in most cases
be controlled by the identification officer. These can be lack of
fingers (born without), amputations, crippled fingers (bent, broken),
deformities (webbed, extra fingers), and old age.
With respect to lack of fingers, it should be noted that some
individuals are born without certain fingers. The notation missing
is not satisfactory because it does not sufficiently explain the
correct situation. It is suggested that missing at birth or some
similar notation be made in the individual fingerprint block on the
card. A proper notation concerning this situation will prevent the
fingerprint card from being returned. Figures 378 and 379 illustrate
temporary and permanent disabilities.
[Illustration: 378. Temporary disability.]
[Illustration: 379. Permanent disability.]
Concerning amputations, it is suggested that a proper notation to this
effect appear in the individual fingerprint block or blocks. It is
suggested that if a portion of the first joint of a finger is
amputated, the finger should be inked and printed. A notation
concerning this fact should be made on the fingerprint card in the
individual fingerprint block.
In those cases where all of the fingers are amputated, the inked
footprints should be obtained.
The handling of crippled fingers and certain deformities can be
discussed in a group because they generally present the same problems.
It is not sufficient in all cases to indicate broken, bent,
crippled. If the fingers are bent or crippled so that they are
touching the palm and cannot be moved, a notation to this effect
should be on the fingerprint card in the proper individual fingerprint
block. However, it is believed that these extreme cases are rare. It
is suggested that the special inking devices used for taking the
prints of deceased individuals be used in taking inked impressions of
bent or crippled fingers.
[Illustration: 380. The spatula, roller, and curved holder used for
taking the inked prints of bent or crippled fingers.]
This equipment, which will be discussed more fully in the section on
printing deceased persons, consists of spatula, small roller, and a
curved holder for the individual finger block. Figure 380 shows the
spatula, roller, and curved holder. It should be further noted in
figure 380 that there are a strip of the entire hand of the
fingerprint card and also individual finger blocks cut from the
fingerprint card. Each of these types can be used in connection with
the curved holder.
Each crippled finger is taken as a separate unit and then the finger
block pasted on a fingerprint card. In figure 381, note the use of the
spatula for applying the ink to a bent or crippled finger; and in
figure 382, observe the use of the curved holder for taking the
rolled impression of a bent or crippled finger.
Old age has been placed under permanent disability only for discussion
purposes. The problem is not encountered frequently in taking the
fingerprints of individuals who are arrested. The situation of
crippled fingers due to old age may be met, and it can be handled as
previously suggested. In most cases the problems arise because of the
very faint ridges of the individual. It is believed that in the
majority of cases, legibly inked prints can be taken by using a very
small amount of ink on the inking plate and by using little pressure
in the rolling of the fingers.
[Illustration: 381. The use of the spatula in the application of ink
to the finger.]
[Illustration: 382. The use of the curved holder for taking the
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