Sherlock Holmes, that legendary Victorian-era detective, reveals his crime-solving secrets in a new exhibit currently on display at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) in Portland. The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes opened October 10 and will continue through January 5, 2014. It is the result of an international collaboration between the Conan Doyle Estate Ltd., the Museum of London and OMSI.
The Baker Street super-sleuth always solved the crime no matter what the odds. He could take the smallest trace of a clue and use it to answer the most baffling questions. His abilities and techniques were so successful that police work, especially in the area of forensics, changed as a result. But there’s one catch: The character of Sherlock Holmes was fictional.
Arthur Conan Doyle created Holmes when he was 26 years old. Doyle had a degree in medicine and was working as a doctor. He had been the medical officer aboard Mayumba, a steamship from Liverpool to Africa, and opened a private practice in Portsmouth, England. He was also struggling as a writer. In 1886, he introduced the world to a detective with a curve-stemmed pipe and deerstalker hat in the novel A Study in Scarlet. The detective was Sherlock Holmes and his trusty assistant, Dr. Watson.
Doyle would write a total of 60 stories about the popular detective. He wrote other books as well, but it was the character of Sherlock Holmes that brought him the greatest recognition. His decision to write a detective story was influenced by the work of two authors in particular. One was the French writer, Emile Gaboriau, for his ability to connect plots; the other was the American writer, Edgar Allan Poe, for his creation of fictional detective C. Auguste Dupin.
Doyle was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1859 into an affluent family. His father was an alcoholic and his mother was well-educated and an excellent storyteller. He was sent to England when he was nine years old to attend preparatory school. The experience was a bad one which included him being bullied by his classmates. Doyle used his talent for storytelling to help him get through his school years. He died of a heart attack, July 7, 1930, in the garden of his home in Crowborough, England.
The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes is designed so that visitors step into Victorian London. The detective is on a case with everyone in attendance helping to assist. His techniques and deductions are mixed in with original manuscripts, publications, artifacts, film and television props to help in solving the crime.
Holmes’ expertise in forensics and chemistry makes OMSI a logical place for the exhibition. The museum is ranked as one of the best science centers in the U. S. It has five exhibit halls and hundreds of interactive displays. Information on times and ticket prices is available by clicking the event schedule link listed below.
Written by: Cynthia Collins
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry – event schedule