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My Million Dollar Invention:

What the Real Watson and Holmes Did for a Living

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»Criminal Riches

What the Real Watson and Holmes Did for a Living

Short | 04:08

Edwin Holmes, a burglar alarm pioneer, and Thomas Watson, an electrician who worked for Alexander Graham Bell, decided to join forces in 1878. Not to solve mysteries, but to form the Bell Telephone Company.

More About This episode

How did one man's invention to save soldiers' lives set off an American crime wave? Which common household appliance first existed as a flattened chicken bone adorned with animal hair? And what's the connection between burglar alarms and the literary team of Holmes and Watson? We explore the origins of four inventions with criminal ties: the Tommy Gun, the home alarm, cash registers, and the toothbrush meet the brilliant minds willing to do anything to bring their innovations to the world.

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