The term was coined by Dr. Harold Cummins, the father of American fingerprint analysis, even though the process of fingerprint identification had already been used for several hundred years. Formally the study of fingerprints was instigated in 1892, when one of the most prominent biologists of his time Francis Galton, published his classic work on fingerprints. He examined hereditary aspects of fingerprints.
Sir Francis Galton, far cousin of Charles Darwin, was a scientist who researched anthropology, geology, biology, genetics and eugenics. He has published 340 works and 15 books. He has extensively researched on importance of shape of fingerprint. He suggested that fingerprints are permanent and can be used as identification. His finger print-shape classification is more simpler than others. He has described only three major types of finger print shapes. His classification is based on triradii number found on each fingerprint.
His two books “Fingerprints” (1892) and “Fingerprint Directories” (1895) were reference books for early Dermatoglyphics.