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Proceedings Paper

Optical Microscopy As Used In Unorthodox Ways
Author(s): Charles Proffer Saylor
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Paper Abstract

In the nineteen thirties, before the great Government crime laboratories were established, individual scientific workers in the Federal agencies were sometimes called upon to settle important questions that the detectives could not handle. For this purpose, it was often necessary to invent new techniques to tackle problems by new approaches. The laboratory man needed to develop imaginative ways of looking at fragmentary material that became available. This presentation will deal with three episodes involving original procedures. The procedures proved their point in the issues at hand, but the findings were never used in court so far as the author is aware. They have not been published or publicly disclosed. If a board has been sawed into three pieces of which the middle one is missing, how do you establish that the end pieces were once joined? If a method of recognizing typescript is developed that provides quick and convincing evidence of identity, what are the chances that a sophisticated forger, knowing the technique of recognition, could successfully imitate the identity? What do you do if the exhibits in a murder case are effective and relevant evidence so far as the facts are concerned, but indicate that another and critical piece of evidence is missing? Suppose that without the missing piece, nothing else has firm meaning! These three examples are chosen for presentation because, although the microscopical techniques that were used are interesting, they appear to have lain dormant for over forty years.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 September 1977
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 0108, Optics in Security and Law Enforcement I, (20 September 1977); doi: 10.1117/12.955483
Show Author Affiliations
Charles Proffer Saylor, National Bureau of Standards (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0108:
Optics in Security and Law Enforcement I
Charles Freeman; Sol Nudelman; Joseph C. Richmond, Editor(s)

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