“The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb”

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Title: The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb Collection: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Year published: 1892 (March) Year set in: 1889
Mystery: What was the purpose of the hydraulic press?
Apparent crime: Counterfeiting Actual crime: Shown below (possible spoiler)
Summary: A hydraulic engineer is taken to a remote house to mend a press where the owner tries to kill him.

A man is taken to Dr Watson with a major wound where his thumb has been severed. He tells Holmes and Watson of how he was engaged as a hydraulic engineer to service a large hydraulic press that was malfunctioning. Although the fee is very good, he is warned not to tell anyone of it and the journey to the press is made in the utmost secrecy.

The problem is simple but, while investigating, he grows suspicious and locked inside the press before it is switched on. He escapes before it crushes him but,

Actual crime
Explanation (spoiler alert)

The press belongs to a coiners who were using it to create an amalgam to counterfeit coins. Their house in burnt down after the engineer's escape but they managed to escape with much of their loot.

Quotations in this story (0)
There are no quotes for this story

Characters in this story (2)
Surname First name Title
Hatherley Victor
Stark Lysander Colonel

Locations in this story (1)
Location Town/City County
Eyford Eyford Berkshire

Other notes

Another story where the villains escape. Holmes has very little to do in this story, apart from deduce where the villains' house is.


Victor Hatherley Colonel Lysander Stark Fritz Eyford Berkshire hydraulic engineer press fullers earth counterfeit