Shannon Carlisle's 4th Grade Accelerated Learning Language Arts Class

Investigates the Safe in The Adventure of the Six Napoleons


In their spare time, meeting outside the classroom time, the students of Shannon Carlisle's 4th Grade Class near Nashville, TN, carried out a most ingenius investigation of the safe mentioned in The Adventure of the Six Napoleons. "Put the pearl in the safe, Watson, and get out the papers for the Conk-Singleton forgery case." (Sherlock Holmes, SIXN)

S Carlisle



[Note: Shannon Carlisle is a member of the Nashville Scholars of the Three Pipe Problem, a.k.a. "221 B Baker Street" canonically.]

Prior to this learning experience Shannon Carlisle was awarded the Beacon Award for 2013. Mrs. Carlisle is known as the “Chief Sherlockian” in her school where she introduces 4th graders to the stories about Sherlock Holmes and his use of deductive reasoning. The Beacon Award consists of a certificate and, since 2011, a check for $221. The announcement was made in New York at the Annual Meeting of the Beacon Society during the Sherlock Holmes Birthday Weekend, held each January.

Students David H., Conor K. and John M. present their findings. After dilligent investigation Mrs. Carlisle's class came across the following advertisement in The Proceedings: Session 1881-1882 of the Royal Institute of British Architects’ publication (published in London in August of 1882).

This Engraving represents
Chubb’s New Patent
Fire and Thief Resisting Safe.

No. 33 in Chubb and Son’s Catalogue

Price   48 pounds 10 shillings

This Safe is fitted (as shown) with a Solid Copper, of Hard Steel and Wrought-Iron combined, giving great extra security, and is especially adapted for keeping jewelry, diamonds, and other special valuables in safety.

Chubb Safe


The conclusion that Dr. John H. Watson owned a Chubbs safe No. 33 (1882) was drawn after extensive online searching and through correspondance with imminent Sherlockian scholars in London and safe company experts.

(For the complete report on the investigation, click here to download the Word document)






Mrs. Carlisle and her young Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts would like to thank the following persons and groups that assisted their findings:

*The Nashville Scholars of the Three Pipe Problem for wanting to know more about the safe and giving us this task.
*John Mitchell, a retired locksmith, who taught us about domestic safes in London.  www.safeman.org.uk
*Francine Kitts who introduced us to Roger Johnson from the Sherlock Holmes Pub in London.
*Roger Johnson who attempted this research a few years ago and helped us learn more about the manufacturers of safes in London.
*Richard Krasilovsky, the President of the Empire Safe Company, who attempted to gather more information from the Chubb Safe Company.
*Russ Stutler whose illustrations of 221b Baker Street encouraged us to get out our magnifying glasses and search for the safe.  When we couldn’t find it, he reminded us that one of the reasons why we can’t find it (in his illustration and in other recreations of 221b) is because it should be hidden from view… especially in “such a famous detective’s flat”.

Related Story below:

Dr Marino Alvarez and his wife Dr. Vicki Risko Alvarez pay a visit to Shannon's 4th Grade Class
( see that story here )

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