Dr. Richard Kellogg, professor emeritus of psychology at Alfred State College, is the author of an article appearing in the most recent issue of Canadian Holmes, a quarterly journal published by the Bootmakers of Toronto, the Sherlock Holmes Society of Canada.
The article, titled “Foiling Burglars with Holmes and Watson,” compares the accomplishments of the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes with those of the prominent American inventor, Edwin Holmes.
The author notes that Sherlock Holmes, with the loyal assistance of Dr. John Watson, was an expert at apprehending burglars in England during the late 19th century. At the same time, on the other side of the Atlantic, Edwin Holmes was busy developing the first commercial burglar alarm. His clever device was effective in protecting stores and banks in both Boston and New York City. A skilled technician named Thomas Watson, who would later work with Alexander Graham Bell to develop the modern telephone system, assisted Holmes by building prototypes of his revolutionary invention.
Following the death of Edwin Holmes in 1901, the Holmes Electric Protective Company was purchased by American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) in 1905. A few large corporations controlled the burglar alarm industry in the United States for most of the 20th century.
Dr. Kellogg writes frequently about Sherlock Holmes, the legendary investigator created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He is also the creator of the Barry Baskerville series of mystery books for children. The most recent entry in the series, available on the Amazon website, is titled “Barry Baskerville's Marvelous Memory.”