Twenty years later, J. Edgar Hoover formed the Division of Identification within the fledgling FBI and allowed local law enforcement to submit fingerprints so that each could be housed in a single national database. The Bureau could then coordinate and "provide identification services" to various enforcement agencies.
The impact of fingerprinting ever since has been immeasurable in the law enforcement field, said former FBI agent and ABC News consultant Brad Garrett.
"It's hard to quantify" the number of cases in which fingerprinting aided convictions, "but that's going to be a very large number," Garrett said.
ABC News' Melissa Lenderman contributed to this report.