Historical Timeline

Events

Earliest Record of Forensic Science

201 A.D. - 300 A.D.

The earliest record of application of forensic science:
3rd century in China.

Carl W. Scheele (Swedish Chemist)

1775

In 1775, Carl W. Scheele (Swedish Chemist)
devised a test for detecting Arsenic in corpses
(the inheritance powder)

Valentin Ross (German)

1806

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

1814 Mathieu Orilla

1814

1814 Mathieu Orilla (Spanish) aka 'Father of Forensic
Toxicology' published article on detection of poisons and
effects

Polarizing microscope invented

1828

Polarizing microscope invented

1839 1st Use of Toxicological Evidence in Criminal Trial

1839

First microscopic detection of sperm

1839

First microscopic detection of sperm

1850‑1860 Photographs (allowed more accurate recording)

1850 - 1860

Photographs (allowed more accurate recording)

1863 1st presumptive test for blood

1863

1863 1st presumptive test for blood

Alphonse Bertillon (French) introduced the Bertillon's system

1879

1879 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 personal identiication for nearly 2 decades and replaced by ingerprinting in 1903.

1887‑1893 Sherlock Holmes

1887 - 1893

1888 London terrorized by a serial killer "Jack the Ripper"

1888

1893 "Criminal Investigation" by Hans Gross (Austrian)

1893

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

1893 "Criminal Investigation" by Hans Gross (Austrian)

1893

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

1901 ABO blood typing discovered by Karl Landsteiner

1901

1903 Will West Case of Misidentiication

1903

Will West Case of Misidentiication of two men whose
Bertillon's measurements were nearly identical. It led to the end of Anthropometry.

1910 "Questioned Documents" published by Albert Osborn

1910

1913 Locard's Exchange Principle by Edmond Leonard (French)

1913

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

1923 Los Angeles PD Crime Lab (the first in USA)

1923

1930 University of California at Berkeley Criminalistics Department led by Dr. Paul Kirk

1930

1932 FBI National Laboratory opens under Director J. Edgar Hoover

1932

1981 FBI Forensic Science Research & Training Center opens

1981