Personal I'dentj ication and Description 175
doubtful if the impression was purely accidental, arisingg simply from touching by chance the wet clay, or was the result of moulding with the thumb the small base of an object, or was actually intended as a potter's mark. Galton next refers to Bewick's impressing his thumb-mark and a finger-mark on a
Fig. 29. Thomas Bewick, his mark.
block of wood, engraving them and afterwards using them. for ornaments in his books *; this approaches the -use of a finger-print for a sign-manual. Galton continues
"Occasional instances of careful study may also be noted, such as that of Mr Faulds (Nature, Vol. xxii, p. 605, Oct. 28, 1880), who seems to have taken much pains, and that of Mr Tabor, the eminent photographer of San Francisco, who, noticing the lineations of a print that he had accidentally made with his own inked finger upon a blotting- paper, experimented further, and finally proposed the method of finger-prints for the registration of Chinese, whose identification has always been a difficulty, and was giving a great deal of trouble at that particular tune ;
Order on a Camp Sutler, by the officer of a surveying party in New Mexico 1882.
but his proposal dropped through. Again Mr Gilbert Thompson, an American geologist; when on Government duty in 1882 in the wild parts of New Mexico, paid the members of his party
See for example History of Birds, Vol. i, p. 180, edn. 1805. It is not in my edition (1807) of the General History of Quadrupeds. Sir William Herschel reproduces in his book, The Origin of Finger Printing, 1916, p. 33, a receipt of Bewick from 1818, in 1918 in the possession of Mr Quaritch. The print is a very delicate one, and has the attached words "Thomas Bewick, -his mark." Sir William thinks that these marks of Bewick, known to him as a boy, may have unwittingly led him to study such prints.