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Bertillion Record

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In Paris, Alphonse Bertillon developed an early form of police classification called Bertillonage. The thought behind the method was, if records were kept of measurements of the body along with a photograph of the person, then each person in the world would have a unique, processable identification record. There were eleven Berilonage measurements:

  1. Height
  2. Stretch: Length of body from left shoulder to right middle finger when arm is raised
  3. Bust: Length of torso from head to seat, taken when seated
  4. Length of head: Crown to forehead
  5. Width of head: Temple to temple
  6. Length of right ear
  7. Length of left foot
  8. Length of left middle finger
  9. Length of left cubit: Elbow to tip of middle finger
  10. . Width of cheeks
  11. Length of left little finger.

These measurements were recorded along with eye color, hair color, etc. on a card that was then filed. The system only lasted twenty years before it was abandoned, due to the unwieldy nature of the archive.

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