Born 1 Jun 1843; died 19 Mar 1930 at age 86
The Scottish doctor, a missionary in Japan from 1873, worked here as a surgeon chief at a Tokyo hospital, taught at the local university and founded the Tokyo Institute for the Blind. He started a study of fingerprints and became convinced that each individual has a unique pattern. He corresponded with Charles Darwin on the subject and published an article about his ideas in Nature magazine. When he returned to England in 1886, Scotland Yard unsuccessfully offered a fingerprint identification scheme for forensic use.