Bertillon system

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.

Bertillon system

(bərtĭl`yən), first scientific method of criminal identification, developed by the French criminologist Alphonse Bertillon (1853–1914). The system, based on the classification of skeletal and other body measurements and characteristics, was officially adopted in France in 1888 and soon after in other countries. Fingerprinting, added later as a supplementary measure, has largely replaced the system (see fingerprintfingerprint,
an impression of the underside of the end of a finger or thumb, used for identification because the arrangement of ridges in any fingerprint is thought to be unique and permanent with each person (no two persons having the same prints have ever been found).
..... Click the link for more information.


See biography of Alphonse Bertillon by H. Rhodes (1956, repr. 1969).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
Bertillon system, and in 1906 the New York Police Department did the
Data from the Bertillon system of identification was used to attest to the existence of a criminal type (McCorn 1896).
At the third international congress of criminal anthropology in 1893, De Ryckere reported the penalties existing in France and Switzerland for those who refused to be measured according to the Bertillon system. This was a consideration addressed by Bertillon from the time of his first publication: