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Fingerprint, impression of the underside tip of the finger or thumb, which has patterns of ridges unique to each person, used as a means of identification since ancient times. The first police system employing dactyloscopy (fingerprinting) was developed (1888) by Jean Vucetich in Argentina. English scientist Sir Francis Galton and others in the late 19th century developed the methods upon which current systems are based, systems extensively employed in the armed services, criminal investigations, government employment, and banking. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation maintains a national fingerprint file.

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21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Federalist, The to Forensic science