History of Forensic Science

Events

Carl W. Scheele

1775

Swedish Chemist, Carl W. Scheele, invented an Arsenic detecting device.

Valentin Ross

1806

Invented a more efficient way of detecting small amounts of Arsenic

Mathieu Orilla "Father of Forensic Toxicology"

1814

Published an article relating on the detection of poisons and their effects. It was the very first forensics relating article.

Polarizing Microscope

1828

The polarizing microscope was invented in 1828. This invention made it possible to observe anisotropic samples.

Microscopic Detection of Sperm

1839

In this year, the first microscopic observation of sperm was done

Toxicology Evidence

1839

The first time the there was a usage of toxicological evidence in a criminal trial

Photographs

1850 - 1860

The usage of photographs allowed for a more accurate recording of the scene. This replaced having to hand write details of the crime scene.

Test for Blood

1863

First supposed test for blood

Alphonse Bertillon

1879

Introduced the Bertillon's system (Anthropometry). This was considered the most efficient way of identifying people for nearly 2 decades.

Sherlock Holmes

1887 - 1893

Acted as an influential character for real forensic scientists. The fictional character inspired multiple ideas to officials.

"Criminal Investigation" by Hans Gross

1893

Hans Gross published the 1st book of criminal investigation using 
forensic science,

ABO Blood Typing Discovered by Karl Landsteiner

1901

This discovery help classify a human based on their blood type

Will West case

1903

The end of Anthropometry due to the misidentification of Will West for another person.

Locard's Exchange Principle by Edmond Locard

1913

Edmond Locard first introduced the theory of cross-transfer. It stated that when 2 objects come into contact, a cross-transfer of materials. This help connects a suspect to the crime scene.

LAPD Crime Lab established

1923

The first crime lab in the United States opened in Los Angeles.

Dr. Paul Kirk

1930

Dr. Paul Kirk led the first class relating to forensic science at the University of California at Berkeley Criminalistics 
Department.

FBI National Laboratory

1932

First National Laboratory in the United States opens under Director J. Edgar 
Hoover

FBI Forensic Science Research & Training Center

1981

The first FBI Forensic Science Research & Training Center is established in the United States.