Anthropometric photography, 1895

Anthropometric photography, 1895

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Credit: CCI ARCHIVES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Anthropometric photography. Historical artwork of a man being photographed after arrest. The photographer is Alphonse Bertillon (1853-1914), the creator of anthropometry. The photograph will be placed on a card containing 11 measurements from the man's body, including height, length of torso, width of head and length of left foot. If the man is arrested again, his measurements will be taken and checked against cards already held. The photograph on the card is the final identifier. This system, introduced in France in 1883, made it much easier to prove a criminal was a repeat offender, especially if they gave false names. Illustration from "Le Petit Journal" (1895).

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