Genius At Work

by Grey Bard

"I need something really cool for Ichabod to make!"

Nothing.

She threw her crumpled up notes at his head. "Talk to me, Timmy! Give me something, big-published-author man."

McGee looked up from his coding. "Um?"

"Legend of Sleepy Hollow fanfiction, McGee, keep up! Who am I to say no to forensics as imagined by Tim Burton?"

"Ah, no one?" he answered, saving his work. This was going to take a while. "So Abby, what exactly are you looking for, here?"

"Well, Ichabod does the same things I do, right?" she explained, waving her Kaf-Pow drink. "But before any of it was invented. So he invents it. Well, sort of, if geniuses were inventing forensics in the 1700's."

"Okay, okay, I can do this. So he needs to invent something that wouldn't require knowing about DNA and so on."

Abby spun her chair happily. "Got it in one, McGee! And obviously, no databases. Or, you know, fingerprints."

"Well, DNA or not, they knew about blood, of course."

She nodded furiously, and made little come on, come on motions with her hands. "Go on, you're onto something, Timmers. I can see the little hamsters running!"

"Everyone knows about blood. You bring a bloody shirt into court in the middle ages and people convict. So finding blood is good, right?"

"Right! Yes! Blood! Luminol is right out, obviously, and ultraviolet light would be great but... lightbulbs. Ouch. They took Edison years!"

They stared at each other, noses wrinkled, brows furled in thought.

"Hey, wait, wait! What was that thing, the thing with the early..." Tim started snapping his fingers. "The thing with the.."

"Woods glass! Yes! The early UV lights were just filters! Anything can be filtered! I love my Timmy!" Abby snatched a hug then spun back to her computer, typing madly. "Score one for Thom A Gemcity! A published author on tap, every girl should have one. You want him to be credited as my beta reader?"

Tim cautiously went back to his coding, his part in this was probably over. "Ah, no, Abby. I... don't think that will be necessary. But thanks."

 

As the light straggled in through the gaps in the shutters, Constable Crane bent over his latest work.The fire glowed an ominous orange from the open furnace. One by one he worked the compounds before him into the blazingly hot raw melted glass. Sodium, nickel oxide and now, rarest and strangest, Carl Scheele's mysterious discovery known as barote.

If his suspicions were correct, and oh, they would be! When used to filter a lamp, the glass would change its light in the most edifying manner, showing hidden blood, even on the most crimson of cloths!

Surely, no crime could escape the grasp of science.

 

 

Scientific Disclaimer: Wood's lamp and Wood's glass were real scientific inventions of the very early 20th century. While with a cursory search, I can find no evidence that the process used to create it would have been possible during Ichabod's lifetime, I can find no evidence that it wouldn't have.
And that's science good enough for Bellisario or Tim Burton.
So there.

 

Grey Bard
Sleepy Hollow