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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This failure strengthened the science of fingerprints as the normally accepted method of personal identification. Complete the following chart below. The prison officials pulled the earlier record and compared West to the photograph that had been taken earlier.

Through the study of such bwrtillon, the public can learn about American law enforcement not only as it exists now, but also discover the history and influences bertillo made the field what it is today.

According to a project that is already on the road to realization, the normal relationship of the State to what Rousseau called the “members of the soveriegn” will be biometric, that is to say, generalized suspicion. Kittler doesn’t tell us how he arrived at this precise figure, and its exactitude is highly dubious.

Standing side by side, the two men appeared to be identical twins, although it was later established that they were unrelated. 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 less promising.

Thanks to a French genius, errors of identification will soon cease to exist not only in France but also in the entire world. The prison staff carefully repeated the Bertillon measurements on both men, and they were found to be identical within the error regarded as acceptable for the system. New Apparatus for the Criminal Department: Kaluszynski describes the crucial difference between descriptive photography and previous iterations of the medium: By examining the photographs, one can see the failure of the Bertillon system.


Bertillon foresaw a situation in which his morphological vocabulary could become a universal language, able to be transmitted via telegraph. Bones of the feet can reveal an interesting fact about an individual.

Bertillon System – Dead Media Archive

Recent opinions suggest that Will and William West were related, therefore the closeness in measurements. Documents Flashcards Grammar checker. Law enforcement agencies began to create archives of records of known criminals, which contained his or her anthropometric measurements, as well as full-face and profile photographs of the perpetrator now commonly known as “mugshots,” which are still in use today.

The History of Sexuality, Vol. File – Foot and Ankle Center of Durham. Even though Bertillon did incorporate photography into his system, he did not fully embrace the medium as a completely effective tool for criminal identification.

Bertillon System of Criminal Identification

Subsequent investigation disclosed that William West was already incarcerated in the facility as of September 9, His Bertillon measurements were taken and it was found that he’d served a previous term there.

During his in-processing, the records clerk obtained Will West’s Bertillon measurements and photograph. How can this information be used by a forensic scientist? Furthermore, bertiloon photographs showed that the two men bore a close physical resemblance to one another, although it was not clear that they were even related.

Bertillon thought his system of anthropometric measurement of the criminal was the answer, and he was uniquely positioned to provide such a solution. The individual, perhaps for the first time, began and ended at its skin and bones.

Bertillon System

List at least 2 reasons why the Bertillon system is not and accurate tool to use as evidence in forensics. Agamben continues with an intriguing yet dubious call for a sort of post-human affectivity that might attend the diminution of identity into pure biological data: These abbreviations allowed the Bertillon operator to provided detailed physical descriptions on the limited space of the Bertillon card.


What do feet reveal about a person’s height? Everyone was completely convinced that Will West was indeed the same man as William West. Until, that is, the guard turned over William West’s record card and noticed that William West was still a prisoner at Leavenworth.

With metric photography, the body is totally bertillin, totally locatable, totally naked. 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.

Metric Photography, Bertillon System: The third component of the Bertillonage process was photography. 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.

While the grids used to graduate metric photography made for precise measurements they also point up the fact that the body is now made to be entirely quantifiable. He was also identified visually by people who recognized him from his earlier term.

What Bertillon did was standardize the process of 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 bertillno offenders.

The arc of this technological evolution is important to preserve.