History of Forensic Science

Events

Carl W. Scheele

1775

A Swedish Chemist who devised a test for detecting Arsenic in corpses (the inheritance power)

Valentin Ross

1806

A German chemist who discovered more precise method for detecting small amounts of Arsenic

Mathieu Orfila

1814

A Spanish chemist known as the "Father of Forensic Toxicology". Published article on detection of poisons and effects

Polarizing Microscope

1828

The invention of the polarizing microscope.

Toxicological Evidence

1839

1st use of toxicological evidence in criminal trial

Photographs

1850 - 1860

Allowed more accurate recording

Presumptive Test for Blood

1863

1st presumptive test for blood

Alphonse Bertillion

1879

A french police officer who introduced the Bertillon's system (aka Anthropometry)
it was a system to identify people by their physical appearance. It was considered to be the most accurate method of personal identification. It was replaced by fingerprinting in 1903

Sherlock Homes

1887 - 1893

The most influential fictional character created by author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; his influence can be compared to that of the modern CSI shows today.

Hans Gross

1893

"Criminal Investigation" by Hans Gross (Austrian) published; the 1st book of criminal investigation using forensic science

ABO blood typing

1901

ABO blood typing discovered by Karl Landsteiner

Will West Case

1903

Case of misidentification of two men whose Bertillon's measurements were nearly identical. It led to an of Anthropometry

Albert Osborn

1910

"Questioned Documents" published by Albert Osborn

Locard's Exchange Principle

1913

By Edmond Locard (French). When 2 objects come into contact with each other, a cross-transfer of materials occurs that can connect a criminal suspect to the victim or the crime scene. Locard also started the first known police crime lab.

Los Angeles PD Crime Lab

1923

The first Los Angeles PD Crime Lab in the USA

FBI National Laboratory

1932

FBI National Laboratory opens under Director J. Edgar Hoover

FBI Forensic Science Research & Training Center

1981

The FBI Forensic Science Research & Training Center opens