Advice To The Student The Best Means To Make Casts Or Take Impressions Of The Hands

I would strongly advise students of this subject to make casts of hands

in plaster of Paris, wax, or any other suitable material, in order to

make a library or collection, both for their own private study, and also

as a valuable record of their work.

Before I read any hands professionally, I had some thousands of casts,

impressions on paper, and photographs of hands in my possession, and I

found that I derived the most valuable aid from being able to analyse and

study their shapes and markings at my leisure.

In making casts I would advise the very finest plaster of Paris to be

used. When the plaster is worked up to the proper consistency, it is

necessary to rub a fine oil into the hand before bringing it into contact

with the plaster, as otherwise the hair may stick and so cause trouble

and annoyance.

Dental wax heated in hot water and made very soft is also an excellent

material to make moulds from, especially as it does not make a mess, and

is very little trouble to employ.

The great disadvantage of making a collection of casts arises from the

large space that such a collection will eventually occupy. To avoid this

the student can also make a library of impressions of hands on paper, and

keep them marked and numbered in a series of albums or scrap-books that

may easily be obtained at any stationer's.

The best means of taking these impressions is to obtain a small gelatine

roller used by printers for fine work, such as die stamping, a tube of

printer's ink, and a small sheet of glass to roll the ink out until it

covers the surface of the roller in an even way.

The roller may then be passed over the surface of the palm, the hand

pressed firmly down on a smooth sheet of white paper, and with a little

practice, most excellent impressions can easily be obtained.

When the impression is dry it can be dated, numbered, and placed in an

album for reference.

In order to remove the black ink from the hand, powdered washing soap,

well brushed into the hand with a nail brush, and a little hot water is

all that will be found necessary.

These impressions taken with printer's ink are far better than those

taken by smoking a sheet of paper by camphor, or by a candle, or any

other means.

The best time for examining hands is during the day, first because the

light is better and, above all, because the circulation of the blood does

not redden the entire palm as it does at night, and the finer lines can

consequently easily be detected.

As I described earlier in these pages, the right and left hands should be

examined together to note what difference there may be in the shape and

position of the lines, but the markings on the right hand are the only

ones to be relied on.

Lastly, do not be for ever on the lookout for faults and failings in the

subject whose hands you may be examining, remember no one is perfect, and

that faults and failings may in the end be as stepping stones "by which

we rise from our dead selves to higher things."

Transcriber's notes:

P(ix) d'Arpentigny corrected to D'Arpentigny

P10 dveloped corrected to developed.

P76 forshadows corected to foreshadows

P63 Removed extraneous comma.

P130 Period added at the end of a paragraph.

P132 Added "is called the Finger of" instead of " to clarify.

P135 Period added before a capital The.

P142 decribed corrected to described.

P158 Extra opening parenthesis removed.

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