Edward Foster

Edward Foster, policeman, fingerprint pioneer (b near Stittsville, Ont 14 Nov 1863; d at Ottawa 21 Jan 1956). Foster joined the DOMINION POLICE as a constable in 1890. While at the St Louis World's Fair in 1904, his interest was awakened in the controversial science of fingerprint identification.

Foster, Edward

Edward Foster, policeman, fingerprint pioneer (b near Stittsville, Ont 14 Nov 1863; d at Ottawa 21 Jan 1956). Foster joined the DOMINION POLICE as a constable in 1890. While at the St Louis World's Fair in 1904, his interest was awakened in the controversial science of fingerprint identification. On returning to Canada, Foster advocated the advantages of fingerprinting over the Bertillon system (based upon body measurements), and pressed for a central repository of fingerprints. Promoted to inspector in 1910, his perseverance resulted in the opening of a national fingerprint bureau in Ottawa the following year. Foster continued to head the bureau after it was absorbed by the RCMP until his retirement in 1932.