Lot 130 of 395:
TLs First Criminal Fingerprinting in America 1905  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$72
$100 - $150

Autograph Letter Signed as Chairman of the Prison Commissioners of Massachusetts - 1905 First Criminal Fingerprinting in America

Pettigrove, Frederick G.

Boston, MA


Feb. 20, 1905


1 pp. 

To George M. Stebbins, City Marshal, Springfield, Mass.: “…I do not share in the feeling that it would be an indignity to subject an arrested person to a proper method of identification…I agree with you that in many instances malefactors who are fugitives from justice might be detected if the provisions of your bill were put into practical operation…” While the first finger-printing of criminals in America is usually attributed to the New York Police Department in 1905, a year earlier, Springfield Police began “taking of impressions by the inky thumb of the person whom it is wished to identify”. The City Marshal, to whom this letter was written, then sponsored a bill in the legislature to make the new practice of criminal fingerprinting state-wide.

Lot Amendments

A bit yellowed; very good.

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