Learn about the stories behind 10 extraordinary inventions. In this video, you'll learn about cellophane.
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Male Speaker: Ask any police officer, the most reliable way to exactly identify a person is though their fingerprints. While the existences of fingerprints have been known for centuries their importance and application weren't apparent until the late 19th century. Even after their use as a forensic tool became common, they were hard to find at crime scenes. It would take an accident, an open mind, and some clever thinking to discover the secret of superglue fingerprint fuming. Fingerprints have been used as identifying marks since as early as the year 700. Chinese businessmen would use fingerprints to sign important documents, unaware of the unique impressions they were making. Around 1686, an Italian scientist named Marcello Malpighi began studying the different characteristics of fingerprints, whorls, loops, arches, but did not realize their significance in identifying individuals. In 1858, Sir William Hershel, serving as Chief Magistrate in Jungipoor, India, began requiring hand-prints on official contracts. Fraud was rampant, and Hershel felt that physical contact between man and contract would discourage forgery. Overtime, Hershel realized that the hand-prints, specifically the fingertips, could be used to positively identify individuals. By fingerprinting himself as well as 20 other individuals over the next 50 years, Hershel was able to conclusively determine that fingerprints did not change overtime. Thomas E. Bush III: Fingerprints are one of the only known biometrics that are well established, they have been used for over 100 years now, there is no known two people that have the same fingerprints even identical twins don't have the same fingerprints. Male Speaker: In 1880, Dr. Henry Faulds, a Scottish missionary in Tokyo, identified what he called skin furrows. He wrote an article for the scientific journal Nature in which he described fingerprints, their uniqueness, and how this knowledge could be applied to solving crimes. Based on readings of Faulds and Malpighi, and correspondence with Hershel, an English scientist named Sir Francis Galton published the first all-encompassing document on the science of fingertip identification in 1892. Fingerprints formed a complete, if crude picture of fingerprinting as a means of identification. In the early 20th century two colleagues of Galton's would apply the theories from Fingerprints around the world. Juan Vucetich was an Argentinian police officer interested in more scientific methods for solving crimes. Based on Galton's research, Vucetich devised his own system for classifying fingerprints. He opened the world's first fingerprint bureau at San Nicholas, Buenos Aires in 1892. Three months later Vucetich would use fingerprinting to free an innocent man accused of murdering two children and instead prove the guilt of their mother. Vucetich's system spread quickly around the world and is still the standard in Spanish-speaking nations. At the same time and with no knowledge of Vucetich's work in Argentina, Sir Edward Henry used Galton's theories to develop a different system of classification called The Henry System. The primary advantages of the Henry system were its ease of searchability, classification and comparison. In 1901, Henry was appointed Assistant Commissioner of Scotland Yard in charge of the Criminal Investigations Department. Later that year the first fingerprint bureau in England, the second in the world, opened under Henry's direction. Henry's system spread fast. In 1903 the New York State Prison system began using it for identification of prisoners. In 1904 officials at Leavenworth prison in Kansas started using fingerprinting. The same year a Scotland Yard Sergeant who was attending the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis helped implement a fingerprint unit in that city's police department. Henry's system is still the basis for fingerprinting today. John Vogan: We began fingerprinting people in 1904 and then in 1905 we actually started our formal file and so

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