This chapter has offered the reader a glimpse into the wide-ranging roles of firearms and fingerprint examiners. Examiners in both disciplines must have sound academic backgrounds in the natural sciences and significant experience in order to perform at the highest level. The ability to carry out laboratory analyses and conduct field examinations forms the basis for being able to reconstruct events associated with crimes under investigation. The culmination of these efforts is the ability to articulate their meaning to a jury in a clear and understandable manner.

A Brief History of Firearms and Fingerprints and the scientists Involved

This chapter will provide the reader with a brief overview of the histories of firearms and fingerprints with a mention of some of the individuals who have played key roles in their respective development. The evolution of firearms has taken place over more than 200 years. It has been directly tied to the Industrial Revolution and the ongoing advances in manufacturing techniques, metallurgy, and pyrotechnics (for example, gunpowder).

Fingerprint technology has also evolved in the 100 years since its acceptance as a valid means of personal identification. The reader will be introduced to some of the more notable individuals who have helped shape modern methods of fingerprint analysis, as well as to some of the more significant technological advances.

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