How Sherlock Holmes changed the world

It may come as a surprise to some, but Sherlock Holmes changed the world of police investigations and forensic science. While his creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was having Holmes examine crime scenes and setting up a lab at his 221 B address on Baker Street, police at the time had no clue (pun intended) about crime scenes and forensic science was 23 years away. For readers at the time the Sherlock Holmes stories must have seemed like science fiction. But science fiction would become reality.

Dr. Edmond Locard of Lyon France was called “The Sherlock Holmes of France” because he was a pioneer in forensic science. He convinced the police to give him two rooms in the attic with two assistants and began the first police lab in 1910. He continued to work until his death in 1966. Locard was a fan of the Holmes stories and used Holmes methods and deductive reasons in his work.

Another fan of Sherlock Holmes was an Austrian judge named Hans Gross who wrote the first book on police procedure and criminalistics in 1893 that is so thorough it is considered the classic textbook on crime scene investigation. Gross was fed up with how police conducted solving crimes; nobody gathered evidence from crime scenes because no one thought to do so. Much of how Gross approached his work can be traced to how Holmes conducted himself at crime scenes.  

Doyle based the character of Sherlock Holmes on one of his professors who expounded deductive reasoning. The professor James Bell even wore a cap similar to Holmes.

So we have James Bell, a professor who inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to study deductive reasoning and Doyle used the methods of deduction with his character Sherlock Holmes whose crime solving methods were unheard of at the time, but inspired two men to create forensic science and change police investigations in ways that changed the world we live in. All from a fictional character.

The characters in my e-novels are not as bright as Sherlock Holmes, but you may enjoy them anyway.





1 Comment

Filed under dalies, e-book publishing, Uncategorized, writing

One response to “How Sherlock Holmes changed the world

  1. An excellent read, as usual. I’m always pleased to read how a work of fiction positively influences individuals, such you had researched. Maybe some day our works do the same. . .


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