Forensic science timeline

Events

Before 17th century

1600

Guilty person would confess under
torture, while God would give an
innocent person the strength to 
resist the pain.

Arsenic test

1775

Carl W. Scheele devised a test for detecting Arsenic in corpses.

19th century advancements

1800 - 1900

Medical advancements (allowed MEs to determine cause of 
deaths)
Microscopes (allowed for the discovery of more physical 
evidence)

Chemical tests (allowed for detection of concealed evidence)

1806

Valentin Ross (German) discovered more precise 
method for detecting small amounts of Arsenic

Toxicology book

1814

Mathieu Orilla  (Spanish) aka 'Father of Forensic 
Toxicology' published article on detection of poisons and 
effects

Microscope inovation

1828

Polarizing microscope invented

1st use of toxicological evidence in criminal trial

1839

Photographs (allowed more accurate recording)

1850 - 1860

Alphonse Bertillon (French) introduced the Bertillon's  system (aka Anthropometry) > a system for identifying people by their physical appearance > was considered to be the most accurate method of per

1879 - 1903

replaced by fingerprints in 1903

Criminal investigation

1893

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

Walter McCrone

1900 - 1999

Walter McCrone
'Father of Modern Microscopy'

ABO blood type

1901

ABO blood typing discovered by Karl Landsteiner

the will west case

1903

Will west had nearly the same measurements leading to the gradual repacement of the measurment system by the fingerprint system

Questioned documents

1910

"Questioned Documents" published by Albert Osborn

Locard's exchange principle

1913

Locard's Exchange Principle 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.

First crime lab in the U.S

1923

Los Angeles PD Crime Lab (the first in USA)

Berkeley Criminalistics  Department

1930

University of California at Berkeley Criminalistics 
Department led by Dr. Paul Kirk

FBI national lab

1932

FBI National Laboratory opens under Director J. Edgar 
Hoover

FBI Forensic Science Research & Training Center opens

1981

The earliest record of application of forensic science:

2000

After a home fire a local leader conducted an expirement on pigs and found out that the lungs turn black if something is breathing during a fire. He used the info to see if the husband was dead prior to the fire. He found out that he was dead because his lungs weren't blackened.