History of Forensics

Events

Earliest application of Forensic Science

Approx. 300 AD

Village elder slaughtered 3 pigs and burned the corpses with 3 living ones in a home to determine the cause of death for a man's body found inside a burned down house.

First test for detecting Arsenic in corpses

1775

Cal W. Scheele devised a test for detecting Arsenic in Corpses, a carcinogenic which was commonly known as inheritance powder.

Valentin Ross discovered more precise method for detecting Arsenic

1806

Previous methods required a lot of Arsenic whereas now smaller amounts could be detected.

Mathieu Orilla published article on detection of poisons and effects

1814

Known as the Father of Forensic Toxicology and the

Polarizing microscope invented

1828

Polarised light has waves that vibrate in only one direction, and cannot be seen normally. Polarising microscopes use this to improve image quality when examining birefringent, anisotropic materials.

First microscopic detection of sperm

1839

Some dude has weird ideas of fun.

1st use of toxicological evidence in criminal trial

1839

Photographs invented and popularized

1850 - 1860

1st presumptive test for blood

1863

Alphonse Bertillion introduced Antropometry

1879 - 1903

system of identification bu physical appearance;was considered the most accurate method of personal identification for 2 decades. Replaced by fingerprinting in 1903

Sherlock Holmes published

1887 - Approx. 1893

The most influential fictional character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; can be compared in influence to modern CSI shows.

Criminal Investigation by Hans Gross Published

1893

The first book of criminal investigation using forensic science

ABO blood typing discovered by Karl Landsteiner

1901

Will West Case

1903

Case of misidentification of two men whose Bertillon's measurements were nearly identical. The end of Anthropometry

Questioned Documents published by Albert Osborn

1910

An in-depth look into a document which is being questioned in the case of fraud, forgery, etc.

Locard's Exchange Principle published 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.

Walter McCrone

1916 - 2002

Father of Modern Microscopy; known to have memorized anything he sees under a microscope.

Los Angeles PD Crime Lab founded

1923

First lab to be founded in the USA

University of California at Berkeley Criminalistics founded

1930

Created by Dr. Paul Kirk

FBI National Laboratory opens under J. Edgar Hoover

1932

FBI Forensic Science Research and Training center opens

1981