Post 8 – Victorian Detective Kit –


For a while there was a creative block preventing me from finding any aesthetic that would call to me me to use as my project’s crucible. At first the idea of a spy-gadget kit filled with gadgets one would see in 007 films or spyology books, but then I took it another step further with the idea of a forensic test kit from the 1800’s. The Victorian detective kit is an over arching descriptor for the sort of project I would like to take on. That being a small kit that someone like Sherlock Holmes would use in a crime scene on the go. Like a well organized tool-box, the detective kit will include minimum extra space and utilized to its upmost capacity. Included below, since there weren’t any direct examples, is an image of what an 1800’s century forensic lab would look like. Including apparatuses  such as, a Bunsen burner, a microscope, chemicals/ingredients  and so on.

Sherlock Museum Photo (1)
Sherlock Museum Photo (1)


For the final design, the material that I would like to use would have to mirror the time period that this kit is going to be based on. Since this is meant to be for a detective in victorian England, the materials can take inspiration from the image above. Mostly made up of composite materials, so nothing synthetic if I can which could be hard since I would like to include pipettes ( to be discussed later on in this post ). Looking below, shows the idea of what the kit would look like and how its interior would be organized. Its exterior and some of its interior will be made up of cedar, cedar is chosen since it is naturally colorless so it would take what I want to give it a

1900s trunk
1900s trunk (2)

mahogany stain color. Because nothing screams British industrialization like making low-quality material look like high-quality. Included in this post is an image of early 1900’s luggage trunk, which shows how the interior of the kit could be made of. Though not the exact same material, the main goal is to have it be made up of a softer material for both aesthetic reasons as well as practical to keep the tools safe from damage in transportation. The material could be some sort of textile such as suede that is both soft, cheap, and some what durable. 


Finally, for the main course, the detective’s tools. The context that the kit would be involved in is a scene of a crime and the detective is pulling this kit out to so quick on the spot lab work as well as sample collection. For sample collection this would require containers, chemicals and sampling tools ( wish there was a more technical name for these ). For containers I want to use both test tubes and small glass jars that are sealed using a small cork, also would like to include small slide glasses to used under a microscope for later. All of these would be included in one half of the kit. For the next half, there will be tools for collecting samples such as brushes, tweezers and glass pipettes which there will be mutliple of each to prevent cross contamination.

Personal Sketch (3)


(1): wikipediea, 2004,, 3-16-24

(2) 1stDibs, 20120,, 3-16-24

(3) personal sketch


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1 Comment. Leave new

  • Hi Benjamin this looks like quite an interesting project. I’ve never seen or even heard of anything like this before and am super interested to see how it turns out. I am curious, however, what is the inspiration behind this? Although you mentioned the characteristics of the materials you plan to use, would it be something like felt, leather, something else?


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