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Sherlock Holmes Day

Sherlock: "I have the advantage of knowing your habits, my dear Watson,” said he. “When your round is a short one you walk, and when it is a long one you use a hansom. As I perceive that your boots, although used, are by no means dirty, I cannot doubt that you are at present busy enough to justify the hansom.”
Dr. Watson: “Excellent!” I cried.
Sherlock: “Elementary,” said he.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of the Sherlock Holmes stories, born this day, May 22, 1859, has said that his famous detective was originally inspired by Joseph Bell, a surgeon at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh for whom Doyle had worked as an assistant. Like Holmes, Bell was famous for his ability to draw broad conclusions from minute observations. Ironically, this tartan's namesake and signature phrase, so heavily associated with the character and stories, is a famous misquote which does not actually appear as such in the canon of Sherlock Holmes stories! This tartan is composed as a visual pun on the "elementary" colours - red, yellow, and blue, providing a modern palette for a new generation's interest in Sherlock Holmes, rebooted as everyone's favorite "high functioning sociopath" consulting detective. 📚🔎

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of the Sherlock Holmes stories, born this day, May 22, 1892, has said that the famous detective  was originally inspired by Joseph Bell, a surgeon at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh for whom Doyle had worked as an assistant. Like Holmes, Bell was famous for his ability to draw broad conclusions from minute observations.

 

Doyle’s first Sherlock Holmes story first appeared in print in 1887 and continued to be published for the next forty years, until shortly before the author’s death. During this time, the detective had countless adventures, usually accompanied by his loyal friend and assistant, Dr. Watson.

Designed by Carol A.L.Martin, the tartan is a playful visual pun of elementary colours - red, yellow and blue, taken from the classic phrase of Sherlock Holmes to Dr. Watson.

Ironically, these words, so heavily associated with the character and stories, do not actually appear in the canon of Sherlock Holmes stories.   The bit of dialog that comes closest to matching the famous Holmesian signature phrase is this exchange between Holmes and Dr. Watson in the short story “The Crooked Man”:

“I see that you are professionally rather busy just now,” said he, glancing very keenly across at me.

 

“Yes, I’ve had a busy day,” I answered. “It may seem very foolish in your eyes,” I added, “but really I don’t know how you deduced it.”

Holmes chuckled to himself.

“I have the advantage of knowing your habits, my dear Watson,” said he. “When your round is a short one you walk, and when it is a long one you use a hansom. As I perceive that your boots, although used, are by no means dirty, I cannot doubt that you are at present busy enough to justify the hansom.”

“Excellent!” I cried.

“Elementary,” said he.

For more the origins and evolution of the phrase, click the latest actor to play Sherlock Holmes.