US 2460652 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
' H. P. PETEfisoN 2,460,652
INSTRUMENT FOR POST-MORTEM FINGEBPRINTING Filed Sept. 11, 1946 Feb. 1, 1949..
I v l I H I 11 m as Liv jiarold f fiifliiflli/ Arrow/K757 INVENTOR Patented Feb. 1, 1949 .UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE INSTRUMENT FOR POST-MORTEM FINGERPRINTING Harold Peterson, Raritan Township,
. Middlesex County, N. J.
Application September 11, 1946, Serial No. 696,334
. or paper; Thispractice is well known and need not be elaborated uponfurther except to point out that the fingers of a living person normally are sufliciently flexible to be straightened out or extended so that the matter of taking the fingerprints is readily handled as the fingers are then fiexibie and capable of adapting themselves or of being adaptedfor inking and making the fingerprint impression on paper or other suitable medium. I V
Incontrast with thefingerprintingof living persons, the problem of obtaining'fingerprints of a deceased person has heretofore been a per-f plexing one. sirable, [and in many instances necessary, to obtain thefingerprints'of deceased persons. It
. not infrequently happens that this fingerprintingmust be done after rigor mortis has set in and this complicates and aggravates what has heretofore been a difficult and sometimes unpleasant, although necessary, task;
In-performing this task, prior to my invention, it was the common practice to obtain the fingerprints of a corpse without the'aid of mechanical devices to facilitate the manipulation of the rigid dead hand. The usual procedure is to make-an impression (a finger-print)- of the fingers and.
thumbsseparately. The procedure was substantially the same as to each digit. First, the finger to be-printed had to be extended or straightened out as it is usually found thatthe hand of a corpse is clasped, that is, the; fingers are folded under, tendingtoward a clenched position. After the finger is straightened itis usually necessary for theopera-tor to hold the finger in position for fingerprinting by placing one or two of his own finger nails under the finger nail of the extended finger of the corpse. This leaves'only the other hand of the operator free to ink the finger and then make the impression-on 'a small pieceof paper. -Ordinarily the paper is supported ona concave spoon which is then brought up into I contact with the inked finger. At best,
Nevertheless, it is very often de 2 this is an awkward procedure and must be repeatedfforeach digit of the corpse. The job is even more aggravated when performed in morgues Where it frequently has to be done inasmuch as the bodies are usually kept under refrigeration and are stiff or rigid.
It is an object of my invention to provide an instrument to facilitate the making of postmortem fingerprints the use of which will eliminate most, if not all, of the drawbacks attendant upon prioriart practices.
According to my invention I provide an instrument which may be easily attached to and detached from the hand of a corpse and which wilihold the digits in position in such manner a that fingerprints may be made. The instrument comprises a wrist clamp and a finger-extending member or members which may besecured-to the wrist clamp. .The wrist clamp-is .preferably provided with adjusting means so that it may be securely fastened to the wrist of a corpse and the finger-extending member is preferably separate from the wrist clamp and is provided with meanswhereby it may be fastened to the finger tobe printed and also with means whereby it may be adjustably but securely fastened to the wrist 'clamm allto the end that the finger to be fingerprinted may with facility be extended and held in proper position for applying ink and for thereafter making the impression on apiece of paper or other recording medium.
, Although the novel features which are believed to be characteristic of the invention will be pointed out in the annexed claims, the invention itself as to its objects and advantages and the manner in which it may be carried out may be better understood by reference to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, in
which V Fig. '1 is a top plan viewof a device embodying my invention, showing the device clamped to the hand of a corpse to take a fingerprint of the index finger of the right hand;
Fig. 2 is a view in cross-section on line 22 of Fig. 1;
Fig. 3 is a view on line 33 of Fig. 2;
Fig. 4 is a view in perspective of a spoon used in making a fingerprint; and
Fig. 5 is a View in perspective of an inking plate and roller used for inking'the fingers.
Referring now to the drawings, the device illustrated comprises a metal wrist clamp l0 and a metal finger-extending member I I. The wrist clamping arms l2 and it to engage the wrist. Arm i2 terminates at its upper end in a flat table supporting member M to which is secured a wrist clamp table 5. The table is provided with a groove i6 providing a guide channel through which slidably extends a wrist clamp adjusting slide member or bar l"l.. It will be observed that slide bar i l is in effect a substantially horizontal extension of the U-shaped clamp arm 53. Hence the slide bar I? may slide through the channel it between the table I and its supporting member I l, thus to widen or to narrow the space between the two depending clamp arms l2 and i3. This arrangement provides for adjustment of the instrument to varying sizes of wrists.
The slide bar l! is provided with a ratchet having teeth l8 along its edges which cooperate with a pawl l9 mounted on the table IE on pivot 20. The pawl has a tooth 2i to engage the'teeth l8 of the ratchet and it is yieldably held against the ratchet teeth by means of a small tension spring 22 one end 23 of which is anchored to the pawl and the other end 24 of which is anchored to the table H5. The slide bar l l is provided with a hand knob 25 and the pawl I9 is provided with a hand knob 26 to facilitate manipulation of the wrist clamp to clamp it to and to unclamp and remove it from the wrist.
The table [5 is provided with a shelf 2i, which, as is explained later, servesas an anchor memher to which the finger arm l I may be removably fastened, This table shelf 27 is secured to the table 45 b .means of screws 28 and held in spacedrelation therefrom by spacers 29, thus providing a slot 36 between the shelf and table top E5 to accommodate a hook member 3! which is slidablymounted on the finger rod l I.
The finger rod H, which is detachable from the wrist clamp, is provided at its innerend with a hand knob 31a. The finger rod II at its outer end terminates in a downwardly curved portion 32 which is provided with a plurality of inwardly projecting sharp prongs 33. These prongs extend 1 inward in a direction substantially parallel to the finger rod 5 l and slightly below ita distance which wili'bring their points just below the nail 3d of the finger 35 when the finger rod' rests upon it. V
The finger rod l l is also provided with a finger guide 36 which is slidable on the rod. It comprises an elongate U-shaped plate curved to fit over the finger and is slidably secured to the rod by a clip 3i securedto the curved guide plate 36 by rivets 38. This finger guide prevents the finknurled knob 42 extends through the bridge 43' of the slidable hook member 3|. This set screw serves to anchor the hook to the finger rod in any desired adjusted position. 7
It may be noted here that the shalf 2'! has a curved inner edge 44 and stops 45 and 46 at its ends. The inner edge of the shelf is curved so that when the finger rod is clamped on difierent fingers the rod will extend in a substantially That completes the operation radial direction and thus line up with the particular finger to which the rod may be fastened.
The use of the instrument will be described in connection with the fingerprinting of the index finger of the right hand. First the finger-extending member H is detached from the wrist clamp It. The wrist clamp is then placed on the wrist 41 and'clamped tight with the table I5 substantially parallel with the top of the wrist. The prongs 33 of the finger rod l I are hooked into the flesh of the finger just below the nail 34, the finger straightened out as shown in Fig, 1, and the hook arm 49 of the hook 3! is inserted in the slot 30, it having heretofore been explained that the hook is slidable on the rod II. The curved finger plate 35 is placed over the joints of the finger and the finger rod II is drawn up taut. The thumb screw ll is then tightened to hold the hook 3|! fast with the hook arm do in slot 30. The instrument havin been thus adjusted, the finger will be in the position shown in Fig. 1.
. Inkisapplied uniformly to rubber roller 48 byrolling it on ink 49 placed on the surface of the plate 5%. The finger is then inked by rolling the inked roller 48 over the part of the finger to be printed.
A piece of paper 5| (shown in dot-dash lines) cut to be held in the concave portion 52 of the spoon 53 is placed in the spoon with the edges under the guides 56 and 55. Then the concave portion of the spoon by means of handle 56 is brought into engagement with the inked finger to make the fingerprint impression on the paper. 7 of fingerprinting the index finger.
The device is then readjusted and each finger is then likewise fingerprinted. For the thumb, the wrist clamp Hlis readjusted to bring the table [5 and shelf 2'1 opposite the thumb and thereafter the procedure is the sameas that for taking prints of the fingers. In each instance, of course, the paper strip 5| is moved to a fresh place. Preferably a strip of paper having areas for the prints of all fingers and thumbs is used,
. as thi skind of strip may then be pasted onto a larger identification card which is well known to the art for keeping a permanent file record.
If desired, a plurality of finger-extending members similar to that disclosed in the drawings may be furnished with one wrist clamp so that all the fingers of one hand may be extended at the same time and held in position. for printing. This, however, increases the cost of the device and this additional cost may not be warranted in many instances.
The terms and expressions whichhave been employed herein are used as terms of description and not of limitation and there is no'intention inthe use of such terms and expressions of excluding any equivalent of the features shown and describedor portions thereof, but it is recognized that various modifications are possible within the scope of invention claimed.
What is claimed is:
1. An instrument of the character herein described which comprises'a wrist clamp having adjustable wrist engaging means so that the clamp may be fastened to the wrist of a deceased persons hand and a finger-extending rod capable of holding a finger of the hand in extended position for fingerprinting, said rod having wristclamp engaging means at its inner end to attachs'al'ti rod to said clamp and a slender sharp flesh contacting part secured to the rod. at
its outer end to press into the flesh and fasten said rod at its outer end to said finger.
2. An instrument useful in obtaining post-mortem fingerprints which comprises a wrist clamp,
said wrist clamp having a pair of clamp arms adscribed which comprises a wrist clamp, said wrist clamp having a pair of arms adjustable to fit the wrist of a deceased persons hand and a finger holding member capable of holding a finger of the hand in extended position for fingerprinting, said finger holding member comprising an elongate rod having a straight portion and a portion bent downwardly at its outer end, a sharp pointed flesh contacting member attached to the bent portion and a hook member slidable on the straight portion adapted to fasten said rod to said clamp.
4. A device useful for purposes herein described which comprises a wrist clamp having adjustable clamp arms thereon so that it may be adjusted to fit various sizes of wrists, a finger-extending rod for holding a finger in extended position, a prong-like sharp flesh piercing member on said rod adapted to fasten said rod to a finger and an adjustable member engaging said wrist clamp for fastening said rod to said wrist clamp, said wrist clamp engaging member being adjustable to accommodate said finger rod to various lengths of fingers. p
5. 'A device of the character described which comprises a wrist clamp and a finger holding member, said wrist clamp comprising a pair of clamp arms adjustable for different sizes of wrists, a table on the wrist clamp adjacent said clamp arms and means securedto said table for attaching thereto the hereinafter mentioned hook member, said finger holding. member comprising a finger rod, means including a flesh contacting device at the'outer end of said rod adapted to fasten the rod to a finger and a hook member on said rod adapted to engage said hook member attaching means whereby to fasten said rod to said wrist clamp, said flesh contacting device comprising a sharp member which pierces the flesh under the nail of the finger.
6. A device useful in making post-portem fingerprints which comprises a pair of wrist clamp arms, one of said arms terminating in a table supporting member and the other of said arms terminating iii a slide member having a ratch along one of its edges, a table supported by said table supporting member and having a channel therein through which said slide member is slidabl'e, a shelf on said table, a pivoted pawl secured to said table engaging said ratch, a pivoted pawl secured to said table engaging said ratch, a finger arm having a flesh piercing member at its outer end, a hook member slidably mounted on saidfinger arm having a hook arm to engage said shelf and having means to temporarily lock said hook member to said arm, and a finger engaging member slidably mounted on said finger arm between its outer end and said hook member.
'7. A device useful in making post-mortem fingerprints which comprises a pair of wrist clamp arms, one of said arms terminating in a table supporting member and the other of said arms terminating in a slide bar having a ratch along one of its edges, a table supported by said table supporting member and having a channel therein ,through which said slide member is slidable, a
shelf having a curved inner edge above the table 7 surface to provide a slot, a pivoted pawl secured to said table engaging said ratch, a finger rod havinga flesh piercing member at its outer end, a hook member slidably mounted on said finger rod having means to temporarily lock said 'hook member to said rod and having a hook arm insertable in said slot to engage said shelf at said curved edge, and a knuckle engaging member slidably mounted on said finger arm between its outer end and said hook member.
HAROLD P. PETERSON.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
1 UNITED STATES PATENTS 7 Date Thigpen Dec. 22, 1931