Galton and the Study of Fingerprints

  • Gertrud Hauser
Part of the Studies in Biology, Economy and Society book series (SBES)


On the surface of the palms there are flexion creases that were used by Gypsy Rose Lee and other palmists to tell fortunes. On closer inspection it is clear that there are also minute ridges separated by furrows which form patterns. These anatomical structures were also seen by Galton and countless others before him, by scientists, doctors, lawyers, government officials and artists who depicted, carved, printed, made impressions of them and wrote about them, even as far back as antiquity (Heindl, 1927). But it was only Galton who extracted the ore from these various lodes to forge a new science – that of dermatoglyphics.


Personal Identification Finger Print Fingerprint Pattern Ridge Count Ridge Regeneration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© The Galton Institute 1993

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  • Gertrud Hauser

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