H. G. Wells: A Brief (and, quite frankly, weird) Museum Trail

H. G. Wells' tooth (C) Bromley Museum
H. G. Wells’ tooth (C) Bromley Museum

Today, I had a conversation on Twitter that I think deserves to be shared with everyone. The conversation began, as many do, with a question. The question in question popped into my head because I’ve been planning future museum adventures and there was a specific object I wanted to see, so I tweeted the museum that holds it.

As weird as it seems, a tooth that once called the mouth of famed Science Fiction author H. G. Wells home was supposedly residing in a local museum in Greater London. As all good museums do, the Bromley Museum responded to my query in a prompt and timely manner.

Not only did they reply, but they managed to fit the story behind the objectΒ and a picture of it in less than 140 characters! And, let’s face it;Β what a story!

However, the story doesn’t quite end there. It seems that the War of the Worlds writer had a special relationship with a specimen from the Grant MuseumΒ according to one of their curators.

I know I get a bit attached to things I see in museums, but I haven’t hugged anything (yet)… so I decided to look into things to see what could be uncovered about the relationship between The Invisible Man scribe and the Gorilla and came across this quote

“There’s more to life than molecules: come to the Grant Museum to see giant land snails, the gorilla that hugged H.G. Wells, and more. Biology as it was, and, with luck, soon will be again!”

Prof Steve Jones, Friend of the Grant Museum

Who hugged whom? It’s all very intriguing (and perhaps a bit silly to ask…) Did they know each other before the gorilla ended up in the museum? I’d love to find out.

Update: 12/02/2014

Mark, a curator at the Grant Museum has been in touch and has filled in some of the blanks in this story about H. G. Wells and the Gorilla

H G Wells hugging a Gorilla at the Grant Museum (c) unknown
H G Wells hugging a Gorilla at the Grant Museum (c) unknown

I also can’t help but wonder if H G Wells left his mark in any other museums? For me, the H. G. no longer stands for Herbert George, but rather “Hugs Gorillas”

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