The Watson Anomaly or A Tale of Two Bells

In 1876 a groundbreaking event occurred that made possible our modern way of life. This event was the world’s first telephone call in which Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) uttered the immortal words “Mr. Watson-come here-I want you.”

This was, of course, not a reference to John H. Watson of Baker Street but rather to Thomas Watson (1854-1934) Dr. Bell’s assistant. The world would not meet Dr. John Watson for another eleven years when “A Study in Scarlet” would be published in 1887.

But in that same year 1876 another amazing event occurred. A young man named Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) began taking medical classes at Edinburgh university in Scotland. There he met a master of deduction named Dr. Joseph Bell (1837-1911). This Dr. Bell inspired the young man to create everyone’s favorite detective, Sherlock Holmes.

Interestingly enough Alexander Graham Bell was born in Edinburgh Scotland before eventually coming to the United States. Unfortunately without access to Scottish genealogical records I have no way of knowing if the two Bells were related.

So one Dr. Bell had a friend named Watson and the Other Dr. Bell inspired a fictional character who had a friend named Watson.

Really what are the odds these two men would have the same last name, both be Doctors, both come from Scotland and even live at the same time? Even without the Watson anomaly it is still very interesting.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: