Key Contributors to Dermatoglyphics
Marcello Malpighi (1628 - 1694)

Anatomist and microscopist from Italy, he described the patterns on the tips of fingers as part of an overall study of human skin. He is considered to be the first histologist (Study of tissues). The lower epidermis (skin area) is named as "Malpighian layer". For about 4 decades, with help of microscope he described the major types of animal and plant structures. In doing so, he opened the gates for future biologists in major areas of research in human anatomy, embryology and pathology.


Dr. Nehemiah Grew (1641 - 1712)

He was a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the College of Physicians, he described the "innumerable little ridges" in Philosophical Transactions for 1684. Dr. Grew published extremely accurate drawings of finger patterns and areas of palm.

Francis Galton (1822-1911)

A scientist with diverse interests covering anthropology, geology, biology, genetics and eugenics published 240 papers and 15 books. He conducted extensive research of fingerprints to demonstrate their use not only as a means of personal identification but also to demonstrate hereditary significance of fingerprints and also indicate biological variations of fingerprint patterns amongst different races. His fingerprint patterns classification was much simpler than earlier proposed by Prof. Purkinje, concluding to only 3 main types of patterns based on the number of triradii found in each pattern. He identified the triradius as being the significant determinant of a fingerprint pattern type. His two famous works 'Fingerprints' (1892) and 'Fingerprint Directories' (1895) are considered as classics in the field of early dermatoglyphic research and stimulated the interest of all sorts of scientific investigators, such as anthropologists, zoologists, geneticists and criminologists.


Sir Edward Henry (1850-1931)

He was the Inspector General of Police in Bengal Province in India, He solved the problem of fingerprint classification. Being influenced by Sir Galton’s book on “Finger Prints”, Sir Henry developed the Henry Classification System between the years 1896 to 1897. The Henry Classification System found worldwide acceptance and it also replaced Anthropometry upon introduction by the Governor general to British India. In 1900, Sir Henry was sent South Africa to assist in the reorganization of the local police force and establish a fingerprint bureau. His efforts in South Africa were highly successful; and in 1901 Sir Henry returned to Britain and was appointed Assistant Commissioner of Scotland Yard, head of the Criminal Investigation Department. In the same year, the first UK fingerprint bureau was established at Scotland Yard.


Dr. Harold Cummins (1894-1976)

Dr. Cummins is considered as the "Father of Dermatoglyphics" or the scientific study of skin ridge patterns found on the palms of human hands. The findings of his lifetime studies and the techniques he developed, known as the Cummins Methodology, are accepted as important tools in tracing genetic and evolutionary relationships. The methodology has gained common usage in diagnosis of some types of mental retardation, schizophrenia, cleft palate and even heart disease. In other fields, dermatoglyphics is used to aid ethnologic and population studies and to make positive identifications by police


Julius Spier (1877-1942)

Julius Spier was a German Psycho-Analytic Chirologist.He has worked together with C.G.Jung. His book "The Hands of Children" is still referred to by professional chirologists all over the world. In addition to Dr. Charlotte Wolff, he is the internationally most renowned German chirologist. Spier's approach to the study of the hand draws heavily on his psycho-analytic background.Much emphasis has been placed on the continuing influence of our family and early life on our development as individuals. The purpose of hand analysis is a means of freeing the individual from social and environmental influences that have inhibited or suppressed the individual’s true development.


Beryl Hutchinson MBE (1891-1981)

The leading figure of Society for Study of Physiological Patterns SSPP, after Jaquin himself, was undoubtedly Beryl Hutchinson MBE (1891-1981). She was from a well to do background.This meant that she could direct her considerable energy and enthusiasm for chirology without having to concern herself with making a living from it. As a consequence she was the driving force behind the society for thirty years, most of that time being the society's president. She wrote two books on hand analysis. The second book Your Life in Your Hands [1967], is widely acknowledged as being a top class work on Chirology. She conducted much of her own research and was particularly concerned with the significance of dermatoglyphic patterns and the manifestation of physical ill-health in the hand. She also studied the palmar signs of vitamin and mineral deficiencies and made extensive studies of anatomy and physiology in order to demonstrate how this supports the interpretation of the hand.


Noel Jaquin (1893-1974)

He is undoubtedly one of the most important pioneers for the study and chirological diagnosis of hand in this century. Although he is most important as a pioneer within the fields of health analysis and sexual and emotional evaluation from the hand, he has made considerable contribution to all aspects of the chirological art. His work is as a broad canvas with a lightly sketched image, outlining the breadth of scope of the diagnostic potential of the hand. His last two books The Human Hand(1956) and The Theory of Metaphysical Influence(1958)concentrate far more on his general theories about life, the universe and everything and propagate more of his philosophy of hand reading. In April 1945 ,Noel Jaquin helped to establish the Society for the Study of Physiological Patterns (SSPP) in conjunction with Hilda Jaffe, Beryl Hutchinson and Margaret Hone. This society was dedicated to promote the scientific importance of chirology as a diagnostic tool in the analysis of psychology and pathology. It continues to flourish to this day.