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Articles from The Science Of Fingerprints

Jacket Folder File

The Plain Whorl

Classification Of Scarred Patterns

Latent Fingerprints

Fingerprint Files

Desiccation And Charring

Essentials Of A Loop

Whorl Tracing

Classification Of Bandaged Or Imprinted Fingers

The Use Of The Fingerprint Camera

Temporary Disabilities

There are temporary disabilities affecting an individual's hand which
are sometimes beyond the control of the identification officer. These
can be fresh cuts, or wounds, bandaged fingers or finger, occupational
(carpenters, bricklayers, etc.) blisters, and excessive perspiration.
Children, whose ridges are small and fine, would also come under this
heading. Extreme care should be exercised in fingerprinting the

An indication on the fingerprint card to the effect fresh cut,
bandaged is not sufficient to file the fingerprint card. It is
obvious that a fingerprint card bearing these notations cannot be
properly classified and filed. The same situation would occur if there
were a blister on an individual's finger. The blister temporarily
disfigures the ridge detail. When an injury is temporary, the prints,
if at all possible, should not be taken until after the injury has

Occupational problems (bricklayers, carpenters, etc.) are definitely a
challenge to the identification officer. In some instances, by means
of softening agents (oils and creams), it is possible to obtain
legible inked impressions. It is further suggested that in these cases
a very small amount of ink should be used on the inking plate.

Excessive perspiration can be controlled to some extent by the
identification officer. Excessive perspiration causes the inked
impressions to be indistinct. It is suggested in these cases to wipe
the finger with a cloth and then immediately ink the finger and roll
it on the fingerprint card. This process should be followed with each
finger. It is also suggested that possibly the fingers could be wiped
with alcohol, benzine, or similar fluid which would act as a drying

In all the above situations, if it is not possible to accurately
classify and file the fingerprint card, the name appearing on the card
will be searched in the alphabetical files and then returned to the
law-enforcement agency.

Next: Permanent Disabilities

Previous: Illegible Inked Prints

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