ASQDE President - 1972-1974
Linton Godown was the 12th president of the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners.
Mr. Godown was born in 1906. In 1950, while he was employed as a photographer in Union City, Tennessee, he had the opportunity to hear Herbert J. Walter testify in a forgery case. Mr. Walter subsequently agreed to train Mr. Godown as an examiner of questioned documents. After his training, Mr. Godown began a private practice in Memphis, Tennessee and in 1956, joined Mr. Walter in his practice in Chicago. When Mr. Walter died in 1958, he continued in Mr. Walter's practice. In 1972, he sold the practice and returned to Memphis where he continued to work as a private examiner until the late 1980's.
Mr. Godown wrote a large number of published articles and professional papers, such as "Typewriting Impressions: Testing and Differentiation by Chromatographic Absorption" and "Optical Contrasters: A New Instrumental Aid to Deciphering Faint Writings and Other Low Contrast Evidence," which were both published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences. He was a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) and in 1980 received the AAFS Questioned Document Section Award. He was also a member of the Society of Photographic Scientists and Engineers. In 1968, he received a Service Award from the Society for Imaging Science and Technology. In addition, he was one of the examiners that help form the American Board of Forensic Document Examiners. Mr. Godown passed away in 1992.
In 2009, the ASQDE established the Linton Godown Award for Research. The award is named for Mr. Godown in recognition of his work as an innovator, inventor, and dedicated researcher in the field of questioned document examination.
Derived in part from an article by Donald Doud appearing in the ASQDE Newsletter, August 1992.