Forensics Timeline

Events

Pre-Forensics

1700

Guilty people would confess under torture, while the innocent find strength to 
resist the pain. It wasn't forensics.

Carl W. Scheele

1775

A Swedish Chemist devised a test for detecting Arsenic in corpses
(the inheritance powder)

Advancements

1800 - 1900

Valentin Ross

1806

Discovered more precise way to detect arsenic

Mathieu Orilla

1814

'Father of Forensic 
Toxicology' published article on detection of poisons and 
effects

Polarizing Microscopes

1828

First Microscope

1839

First detection of sperm

Toxology

1839

1st use of toxicological evidence in criminal trial

Photographs

1850 - 1860

Blood Test

1863

1st presumptive test for blood

Alphonse Bertillon

1879

(French) introduced the Bertillon's 
system (aka Anthropometry) a system for identifying people

Sherlock Holmes

1887 - 1893

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

Jack The Ripper

1888

London terrorized by a serial killer

"Criminal Investigation" by Hans Gross"

1893

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

Walter McCrone

1900

'Father of Modern Microscopy'

ABO

1901

ABO blood typing discovered by Karl Landsteiner

Will West Case

1903

Two different men with very similar measurements proved the pitfalls of Anthropometry.

Questioned Documents

1910

1910 "Questioned Documents" published by Albert Osborn

Locard's Exchange Principle by Edmond Locard

1913

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 irst known police crime lab

LAPD Crime Lab

1923

Criminalistics Department

1930

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

Hoover's Lab

1932

FBI National Laboratory opens under Director J. Edgar 
Hoover

FBI Forensics

1981

FBI Forensic Science Research & Training Center opens