Lab: Bertillon Measurement. Click link to view the file. ← Case Study Conviction Through Enhanced Fingerprint Identification. Bertillon Lab Activity. By using measuring tapes, students measured the length of their torsos, length of arm from elbow to middle finger and hand from wrist to. Side One. Side Two. Arrest card, ca. Collection of the National Law Enforcement Museum, Washington, D.C.. An arrest card for 17 year old.

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Alphonse Bertillon was a French criminologist who first developed this anthropometric system of physical measurements of body parts, especially components of the head and face, to produce a detailed description of an individual.

Cole describes how the measurement process would have worked in any routine arrest at the time: Retrieved from ” http: Subsequent investigation disclosed that William West was already incarcerated in the facility as of September 9, It was eventually displaced by fingerprint analysis, although Bertillon measurements were commonly used berrillon conjunction with fingerprinting into the early decades of the 20th century.

The Bertillon system was introduced in the U.

How can this information be used by a forensic scientist? Even though Bertillon did incorporate photography into his system, he did not fully embrace the medium as a completely effective tool for criminal identification.

If the recorder was tired or inattentive, the measurements could fail to identify a person. Let us look at the three distinct parts of the Bartillonage process in some detail. This system was initially accepted and used by various law enforcement agencies throughout the United States. By examining the photographs, one can see the failure of the Bertillon system. Through the study of such artifacts, the public bertilloj learn about American law enforcement not only as it exists now, but also discover the history and influences that made the field what it is today.


Politics for the Information Age. Ch 1 Study Guide Kaluszynski describes the crucial difference between descriptive photography and previous iterations of the medium: Personal tools Log in. Suppose you find a footprint that is. The Bertillon Laab System advertisement.

These abbreviations allowed the Bertillon operator to provided detailed physical descriptions on the limited space of the Bertillon card. What Bertillon did was standardize the process of criminal photography, and added the essential oab element that allowed the photographs to be of some use to police officers trying to identify suspects and determine if they were in fact repeat offenders.

Bertillon System

Will West continued to deny that the William West card was his. Of course, the new technique was fingerprinting, a much simpler process than Bertillonage.

Indeed, one can’t help but think that Mark Zuckerberg is indeed the new Bertillon; and we are all voluntarily creating our own Bertillon cards, cataloged and available for all to see. Have the individuals remove their shoes and measure their height.

What do you get? His Bertillon measurements were taken and it was found that he’d served a previous term there. His theory was that each person is highly individual.

Bertillon System of Criminal Identification

Forensic anthropologists team up with law enforcers to help solve crimes. While the bertilllon used to graduate metric photography made for precise measurements they also point up the fact that the body is now made to be entirely quantifiable. The techniques of criminal beertillon used by American law enforcement today are rooted in the science of anthropometry, which focuses on the meticulous measurement and recording of different parts and components of the human body.

Vincenzo Binetti and Cesare Casarino. Including the Theory and Practice of Anthropometrical Identification. A History of Fingerprinting and Criminal Identification. Metric Photography, Bertillon System: William West was quickly produced, and everyone marveled at the similarities. David Kishik and Stefan Pedatella. Bergillon prison staff carefully repeated the Bertillon measurements on both men, and they were found to be identical within the error regarded as acceptable for the system. Ina man named Will West was committed to the penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kansas, where he was photographed and measured using the Bertillon system.


Today, fingerprint analysis is used by law enforcement agencies all over the world to track down criminals and conclusively identify them. Alphonse Bertillon invented “anthropometrics”, a method with which to identify people based upon their individual measurements. A quick note to readers: Today, one sees the beginnings of a society in which one proposes to apply to every citizen the devices that had only been destined for delinquents.

Furthermore, their photographs showed that the two men bore a close physical resemblance to one another, although it was not clear that they were even related.

In the ensuing confusion surrounding the true identities of the two men, their fingerprints conclusively identified them and demonstrated clearly that the adoption of a fingerprint identification system was more reliable than the older Bertillon system.

Introduction to Forensics Lab: Standard Instructions for Contributors to Edited Collections.

Lab: The Bertillon Anthropometric System

This image was probably used in a ca. Selected Interviews and Other Writings, Suspects who were drunk, ill, or uncooperative would also result in inaccurate measurements. When Bertillonage was being exported the process of metric photography was bertiplon aspect of the system that was highlighted as being particularly adaptable and useful for police departments around the world.