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.


I’m a Total Watson

Yes it’s true.

I know that I would really love to be Sherlock Holmes. Brave, smart, mysterious and always morally in the right.

But I’m just not Sherlock. Besides Watson is plenty brave and smart. He’s not so mysterious but then neither am I. Watson does have an excellent moral compass though and it serves him well always erring on the side of compassion and human decency.

I am a Writer. I have a Blog. So I am like Watson in that way.

I might not be a doctor but I can peel the backing off a Band-aid.

I like to drink tea and I detest the foul smell of tobacco smoke.

I have a Dog though he isn’t a bull dog.

I am not really the leader, I am more of the tag-along type. I can take orders and I can give good advice I just can’t take charge.

Though I am intelligent I tend to live inside my head a lot and so am not very observant of the outside world. So I am like Watson in that way too. Holmes will never cease to amaze me.

I have Watson’s on my Family Tree. My Mother’s Father’s Grandfather was a Watson.  It might be reach up a bit on family tree but it’s still a direct line of descent. With out him having a daughter who had my Grandfather who had my mother I wouldn’t be here so, yea I am a total Watson.

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