Volume 24, Issue 4 (October 1979)
History of Questioned Document Examination in the United States
The history and development of questioned document examination in this country can be divided into three distinct sections. The earliest runs from the founding of the United States and continues up to the end of the 19th century. It is actually a time in which very little is known about work in this field. The first third of the 20th century represents a period dominated by Dr. Albert S. Osborn and the private document examiners and represents the period of acceptance by the courts of what might be termed modern questioned document examination. Finally, the years from the mid-1930s to date represent the more modern era in which the public examiner and governmental laboratories first developed and expanded so that today they are more or less the dominant factor in this field of work. Actually, no fixed dates can be set to delimit these periods, but the dates given should be considered as a general framework for this discussion.