History of Forensic Science

Events

Earliest record of application of Forensic Science

201 - 300 A.D.

Carl W. Scheele devised test for detecting Arsenic in Corpses

1775

Valentin Ross discovers more precise  method for detecting small amounts of Arsenic

1806

Mathieu Orilla "Father of Forensic Toxicology" publishes article on detection of poisons and effects

1814

Polarizing microscope invented

1828

First microscopic detection of sperm

1839

1st toxicological evidence in criminal trial

1839

Photographs allowed more accurate recording

1850 - 1860

1st presumptive test for blood

1863

Alphonse Bertillon introduces Bertillon's system (aka Anthropometry)

1879

system for identifying people by their physical appearance; replaced by fingerprinting in 1903

Sherlock Homes CSI effect of the 19th Century

1887 - 1893

"Jack the Ripper" terrorizes London

1888

Hans Gross publishes "Criminal Investigation"

1893

1st book of criminal investigation using 
forensic science

ABO blood typing discovered by Karl Landsteiner

1901

Will West Case ends Anthropometry

1903

Case of misidentification of two men whose Bertillon's measurements were nearly identical

Albert Osborn publishes "Questioned Documents"

1910

Locard's Exchange Principle by Edmond Locard

1913

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

Los Angeles PD Crime Lab

1923

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

1930

FBI National Laboratory opens under Director J. Edgar  Hoover

1932

FBI Forensic Science Research & Training Center opens

1981