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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Retrieved from ” http: The complexity of the Bertillon system—the very thing that provided it with such accurate and reliable data—also proved to be its downfall: University of Minnesota Press. 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.

The prison officials pulled the earlier record and compared West to the photograph that had been taken earlier. Until, that is, the guard turned over William West’s record card and noticed that William West was still a prisoner at Leavenworth. Jane Caplan and John Torpey, This represented a noteworthy bid to move away from a model confined to generalizations: These abbreviations allowed the Bertillon operator to provided detailed physical descriptions on the limited space of the Bertillon card.

The techniques of criminal identification 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.

Standard Instructions for Contributors to Edited Collections. List the individuals name, height, and foot length.


West denied that, despite the fact that his measurements “proved” that he’d done so. The Bertillon system in its un-bastardized form—that is to say, when it was practiced by Bertillon himself and a few close associates—was a resounding success; when, however, the system was exported all around the world, the results were much lwb promising.

Will West continued to deny that the William West card was his. David Kishik and Stefan Pedatella. Bertillon foresaw a situation in which his morphological vocabulary could become a universal language, able to be transmitted via telegraph.

Bertillon System

A quick note to readers: Suppose you find a footprint that is. His Bertillon measurements were taken and it was found that he’d served a previous term there.

What do feet reveal about a person’s height? The case of Will West destroyed confidence in the Bertillon System literally overnight. The choice of features to be measured had to be based on their non-correlation as well as on their fixity and clarity. Many artifacts in the collection of the Museum serve to document the history of criminal identification techniques, including those used in earlier centuries and decades but which were superseded by more advanced and accurate scientific techniques.

Bertillon System – Dead Media Archive

Kittler does, however, point to a common theme in with regards to metric photography—the interaction between art and surveillance: What Bertillon did was standardize the process bertillon criminal photography, and added the essential organizational 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.

Have the individuals remove their shoes and measure their height.

Metric Photography, Bertillon System: Bertillonage as Government Technique. Name Height Foot Length 1. Exhibits of the National Law Enforcement Museum: Bertillon cards were printed reflecting these measurements, and oddly enough, a fingerprint. Of course, the new bertullon was fingerprinting, bertlilon much simpler process than Bertillonage. Including the Theory and Practice of Anthropometrical Identification. Bertillon System of Criminal Identification.


Gertillon records clerk doubted this information, and referenced his Bertillon measurements into the system, retrieving the Bertillon card for a William West. Alphonse Bertillon invented “anthropometrics”, a method with which to identify people based upon their individual measurements. Although Foucault is not referring to Bertillon here, the quotation is all too applicable:.

Cole, correctly by all accounts, argues for precisely the opposite hierarchy of Bertillonage components as Kittler: How can this information be used by a forensic scientist? Bones of the feet lah reveal an interesting fact about an individual. Bertillon anticipated these problems, writing a strongly-worded message in his instruction manual directed towards all those who would consider meddling with his finally tuned methods:.

Personal tools Log in. Bertillon, working in the Paris police prefecture at this time, was particularly concerned with the problem of recidivism. It was eventually displaced by fingerprint analysis, although Bertillon measurements were commonly used in conjunction with fingerprinting into the early decades of the 20th century.

Primarily, investigators used the Bertillon system to determine if a berti,lon in custody had been involved in previous crimes.