Letter | Published:

The Permanence of Finger-Print Patterns


I RECEIVED a few days ago Sir Wm. J. Herschel's brochure, “The Origin of Finger-Printing.” His object–in, addition to examining other claims to this method—is stated to be the desire to place on record the discovery of this method of identification “in Bengal in 1858,” and the author seems to be piously grateful for the “gift granted” to him of that great and most useful discovery. The evidence for this early date is contained in the imprint of a single hand of one Könäi, made at that time. This was issued on a single, sheet some years ago, but when, as an eager student of the subject, I applied to the publishers for a copy, I was told it was issued only for private circulation, and could mot be supplied to me. I now haston at the first opportunity to give my own opinion of this impression, long guarded so carefully from the inspection of the expert critic.

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