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X-ray Photography

The use of X-ray photographs (radiography) has been advocated by some

for purposes of recording the ridge details in decomposed, desiccated,

or macerated cases. Briefly, the procedure involves the covering of

the fingers with heavy salts such as bismuth or lead carbonate, in a

thin, even film over the pattern area and then, by the use of the

X-ray, reproducing the ridge detail. This procedure necessitates the

use of X-
ay equipment and a technician skilled in making radiographs.

It is, therefore, an expensive operation. The results of the

radiograph in no way compensate for the expense, time, and skill

required inasmuch as in those cases where many wrinkles and creases

appear in the fingers, especially desiccated specimens, the results

have been very poor. In instances where there are no wrinkles or only

a few, and where the creases are not too deep, the ridge detail is

reproduced very well in the radiograph. In these cases, however, it is

usually possible to secure impressions by inking and rolling in the

regular way or, should this fail, ordinary photography will certainly

give satisfactory results. For economical and practical purposes the

use of the X-ray is not recommended.