US 3819260 A
An apparatus employing the electrostatic copying process is provided for the production of a permanent record of fingerprints or the like. The apparatus comprises a platen which causes sensitized paper having an electrostatic charge to surround the finger or fingers being duplicated. Contact of the paper by the raised portion of a fingerprint dissipates the charge on the paper in the area contacted resulting in the formation of a latent image. Simultaneously therewith, a light source exposes the paper in the area not contacted by the finger to dissipate the charge in the non-image areas. The latent image on the paper thereby represents the depressions between the raised portion of the fingerprints, which do not contact the paper and which are not exposed to light. A developing station is included to develop the sensitized paper to form a permanent fingerprint record.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Radin APPARATUS FOR FINGERPRINTING  Inventor: Edward J. Radin, Johnson City;
 Assignee: GAF Corporation, New York, N.Y.
 Filed: Oct. 2, 1972  Appl. No.: 294,030
 US. Cl. 355/3, 355/12  Int. Cl G03g 15/00  Field of Search ..355/3,10,l1,12,l7
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,549,253 12/1970 Brodie 355/10 Primary Examiner-John M. Horan Attorney, Agent, or FirmWalter C. Kehm; Samson B. Leavitt June 25, 1974 5 7] ABSTRACT An apparatus employing the electrostatic copying process is provided for the production of a permanent record of fingerprints or the like. The apparatus comprises a platen which causes sensitized paper having an electrostatic charge to surround the finger or fingers being duplicated. Contact of the paper by the raised portion of a fingerprint dissipates the charge on the paper in the area contacted resulting in the formation of a latent image. Simultaneously therewith, a light source exposes the paper in the area not contacted by the finger to dissipate the charge in the nonimage areas. The latent image on the paper thereby represents the depressions between the raised portion of the fingerprints, which do not contact the paper and which are not exposed to light. A developing station is included to develop the sensitized paper to form a permanent fingerprint record.
4 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures PATENIEllJunzs I974 SHEEI 1 BF 2 FIG.I
APPARATUS FOR FINGERPRINTING The present invention is directed to a novel apparatus and method for reproducing a permanent archival fingerprint record. More particularly, the present invention employs an apparatus and associatedmethod utilizing the electrostatic reproduction copying process.
By way of background, it is customary in present practices, when taking fingerprints, that ink be applied to the particular body, i.e. finger or fingers being duplicated, and thereafter the person recording the prints must carefully and in a prescribed manner utilize a rolling action to the body portion being duplicated, upon a card or paper for permanent recordation. Generally, this approach requires the use of a specially trained person who is able to produce good quality print without any difficulty. The aforementioned arrangement has a number of disadvantages some of which are technical and others of which are personnel. For example, there is a need to employ skilled technicians who are trained in handling and in applying fingerprints, furthermore, it is vital for good results to'have a receptive subject who is being fingerprinted; since the ability to cooperatively control the finger or fingers being duplicated without in any way faltering is essential for defect free images.
Various groups, i.e. police, government, military have expressed an interest in procuring fingerprints from subjects without the need for rolling of a finger or fingers on a card or paper, or the need for the application of ink or any other solution to the body or fingers. Further efficiency and a high degree of repeatability can be assured if the technician required to execute the actual fingerprinting need not necessarily be specially trained and highly competent; overall cost savings would result since the rolling technique for taking of fingerprints would no longer be required. Lastly, the need to take a greater number of prints per subject, over a given period of time in order to be assured of the requisite quality is no longer necessary.
Prior art has considered the problems mentioned above, however, the solution to the difficulties has not taken the approach described by Applicant hereinafter.
For example, U.S. Pat. No. 3,431,131 proposes the use of a coalesible film that is, coated thereon, where the image is imprinted and is then subjected to heat or pressure to change the cell structure, so that specific segments or portions of such film will change from an opaque condition to a transparent condition.
Another approach is suggested by U.S. Pat. No. 3,408,216. Here the use of a complementary positive and negative portion of an original document is employed and the original positive adjacent a support material is adapted to transfer a condensate image to a support material by vaporization or pressure transfer. Thereafter, a film is superimposed upon such original and reproduction takes place.
Accordingly it is the main object of the present invention to obviate the defects of the prior art.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a simple and efficient apparatus and method for taking of fingerprints.
Still another object of the present invention is to employ the electrostatic process in conjunction with the taking of fingerprints to thereby establish a pennanent record of such fingerprints.
Still a further object of the present invention is to employ a method of taking fingerprints making use of the electrostatic copying process to enable the simple recordation of such prints.
An additional object of the present invention is to employ the electrostatic duplication process in a manner that permits the recordation of fingerprints without the need for the application of foreign substances to the subject being fingerprinted.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent when referring to the specification, claims and drawings.
With the foregoing and other objects in view, there is provided in accordance with the invention an electrostatic apparatus adapted to reproduce fingerprints including: a source of sensitized paper, a series of transport rollers adapted to advance said sensitized paper to an exposure station; said exposure station including platen adapted to receive one or more fingers in a position allowing said sensitized paper to be brought into contact with said finger or fingers being fingerprinted to form a latent print image thereon; a light source disposed above the platen to expose and desensitize the paper in the area not covered by the fingers; switch means adapted to provide control and indication of the exposure time of said sensitized paper to the light source; drive means causing said exposed paper to be advanced upon the removal of the finger or fingers being fingerprinted enabling said exposed paper to be advanced into the developing station; and means for fixing the latent image formed on said sensitized paper as said paper is withdrawn from said developing station.
In accordance with FIG. 1 there is illustrated the apparatus by which fingerprinting is achieved in a manner directed to the present invention. The arrangement illustrated automatically provides the necessary functions enabling fingerprints to be recorded. Accordingly, a roll of sensitized paper l or other suitable material (such as, for example, card, strip, preprinted cards or forms, or perforated roll material for manual tear-off at the completion of processing) capable of accepting and retaining an electrostatic charge (as long as it is not subjected to an undue amount of light) is stored in a relatively light tight compartment 2. The paper 1 is held in its working position by a roll holder 3. To initiate the process, it is necessary to thread the paper 1 into the insert rollers 4. Such rollers 4 may be clutch actuated (the clutch assembly is not shown). When a power switch is energized, the insert rollers 4 will immediately begin conveying prescribed lengths of sensitized paper 1 as determined by cutoff 5 and/or sensing means, i.e. a knife, switches and/or photocells, and thereafter such paper 1 moves through a corona station 6. At the corona station 6, an abundance of negatively charged ions are being produced and such negatively charged ions in turn migrate to the sensitized paper surface and causes such paper surface to become negatively charged. Thereafter, the charged paper 1 is conveyed to a specially designed exposure station platen 7 via a suitable transport means 8. This does not preclude the possibility of utilizing a positively charged media for recording purposes (reversal process).
When the paper 1 has reached theexposure position, a sensing means, such as a microswitch (not shown) will cause the paper 1 to stop in its forward travel and remain stationary until the finger or fingers to be duplicated are placed in position for printing.
The copy paper cutoff function, such as by a rotary knife (not shown), can be provided by the same sensing action, as well as the de-energization of the corona charging unit 6. The aforementioned approach represents an alternate approach to carrying out the above function.
FIG. 2 illustrates the relationship of the apparatus and the finger or fingers to be duplicated in the exposure position. In accordance with this arrangement, the copy paper 1 and the transport means 8 take the form of an exposure platen 7, as when the finger to be duplicated is positioned as indicated in FIG. 2. The transport means is so constructed to enable the transport means to take the desired form by the action of a spring loaded idler roller 12 shown in FIG. 1. As the finger reaches the desired exposure position, a switch 10 is actuated causing the exposure source llto operate and provide the necessary illumination over a select period of time in order to effect an exposure and desensitation of the paper in the area not covered by the finger. Contact of the paper by the raised portion of the fingerprint also desensitizes the paper by grounding in the area contacted, thus producing an electrostatic latent image on the sensitized paper 1. An indicator (not shown) is provided on the cover which will remain illuminated during the time that the exposure source 11 is actuated. The illumination from the exposure source 11 could be utilized for this function, providing the necessary indication for the member being copied to remain on the platen 7 until the indicator is extinguished thereby signaling that exposure has been completed. The exposure platen 7 causes the paper to surround the finger 9 and thereby provide maximum finger coverage to envelope the finger. The platen 7 shape is such that the envelopment of the member being duplicated results in an image comparable to that obtained by the rolling technique used in ink-type fingerprinting. The platen 7 configuration can be such as to allow ease of exchange with a flat plate upon which multiple members can be duplicated as is generally done in commonly used fingerprint methods. The platen 7 could further consist of multiple indentations to provide simultaneous rolled-type duplication of all of the fingers, including the thumb, if desired. The paper 1 is of such a nature that it becomes conductive when subjected to illumination from the exposure source 1 1. An electrostatic charge previously placed on the paper is caused to dissipate in the non-image areas surrounding the finger, thus leaving only the latent electrostatic fingerprint image.
A reflector l3 directs the light to the desired area of the copy paper and can also be adapted to act as a light baffle to prevent pre-exposure of the remaining paper in the system, as well as a heat radiator by which air can be heated for an aid to copy drying in a liquid copy system. As the finger being duplicated is raised from the exposure platen 7, a suitable drive means (but not including the feed-in clutch) will again be actuated causing the paper 1 to be transported into a toning tray 14 complete with agitator means to insure toner dispersion, which contains a suitable toner 15 that is employed to develop the latent image remaining on the paper after exposure.
The latent image on the copy paper I. in the aforementioned process in negatively charged, that is electrostatically, whereas, the particles of the toner have a positive potential; it follows, that the latent image on the copy paper is developed and made visible in the toner tray by the attraction of the positively charged particles to the negatively charged image on the area of the paper. As the copy paper 1 emerges from the toner tray 14, it is directed to a set of squeegee rollers or to an affixing station 16 where the excess liquid toner is removed from the paper or the dry toner fixed by heat.
In either case, whichever of the above approaches is to be employed, the developed image is set by the pressure or heat. If squeegee rollers are employed, they are also intended to function as a drive means for the paper 1, directing such paper to a drying area 17 by means of a suitable transport means 18 where the paper is subjected to air provided by a fan 19, which enables drying or cooling, as the case may require. What follows is a dry, non-smearing latent image copy discharged into a receiving tray 20.
By means of the present invention it is possible to vary the approach and the technique employed for providing single, as well as sequential fingerprinting with the above mentioned system. For an example, a stop and repeat process utilizing light locking apertures in the exposure areas can be employed to obtain latent prints of all of the fingers in a desired manner, thusly, there is produced on one form a record of all prints in sequential order.
A flat plate, slide-in member can be provided in the exposure area to form a convenient means for producing simultaneous prints of as many fingers as desired.
A similar apparatus can also be employed in obtaining footprints of infants or other suitable subjects, instead of the present day traditional approach being employed at hospitals and clinics. In this connection, the exposure station or section can be made as a detachable light module with an opening convenient for the foot or other body member to be duplicated. The present invention can also be employed in conjunction with a check cashing system. For an example, fingerprints can be registered with the check and a photograph. This system can also replace the identification photograph normally employed in a check cashing systems. In any event, the above approaches contemplate the placing of fingerprint duplication as a simple trigger means for activating the overall system.
Applicant has endeavored to provide a simple and novel approach making use of an exposure platen and finger activated switch for starting the exposure cycle. The automatic features of the instant invention enable the recordation of a fingerprint at an exposure station whereby a designated length of sensitized paper is disposed on a downwardly curved platen. The automatic operation of the invention enables the advance of paper strip and the subsequent development of the recorded fingerprint upon the termination of the print cycle.
It follows from the above that the instant invention has endeavored to deal with a problem in a highly efficient and trouble free manner without the need for a complicated apparatus.
It will be understood that certain changes may be made in the construction or arrangement of the apparatus which is disclosed herein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.
1. An electrostatic apparatus adapted to reproduce fingerprints including: a source of sensitizedpaper, a series of transport rollers adapted to advance such sensitized paper to an exposure station; said exposure station including an exposure platen adapted to receive one or more fingers in a position allowing said sensitized paper to be brought into contact with said finger or fingers being fingerprinted to form a latent image thereon; a light source disposed above said platen to expose and desensitize the paper in the area not covered by the fingers; switch means adapted to provide control and indication of the exposure time of said sensitized paper to said light source; drive means causing said paper to be advanced upon the removal of the finger or fingers being fingerprinted enabling said exposed paper to be advanced into the developing station; and
means for fixing the latent image formed on said sensitized paper as said paper is withdrawn from said developing station.
2. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, including an exposure platen adapted to surround the finger or fingers singularly or in multiplicity being fingerprinted to thereby provide maximum contact during the exposure operation.
3. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, including means to sequentially fingerprint one or more fingers wherein said exposure platen includes a slide member adapted to cooperate with the finger or fingers being fingerprinted in any sequence as desired.
4. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, including paper drive means for advancing copy paper through the apparatus after exposure, to thereby allow the removal of one or more fingers from said exposure platen and simultaneously actuate said drive means to advance said copy paper to the next station.