Professor Argon

Painting of young Argon Young Argon aged 18 at Oxford University Argon Wilbur Maximus Sprockitt was born in Nantwich, Cheshire in 1868 to Joseph Arnold Harlenger and Rose Harlenger.
Joseph Harlenger changed his name to Sprockitt before Argon was born in an attempt to hide his Prussian ancestry.
Harlenger was a lawyer and a good one at that. He was also a trained Physician.
His wife Rose was a talented seamstress.
Joseph Harlenger named his son after he and his wife would laugh at how quiet and settled he would lay in his crib.
Argon is derived from Greek and translates to 'inactive'.

Artist or scientist?

Growing up Argon excelled at the arts. A keen reader, writer, artist and actor Argon would feature regularly in school theatrical productions.
His parents were keen for him to study economics after the rise of industry in Victorian England, but his heart was with the arts.
However, during grammar school his love of acting faded as he became fascinated by science and the work of Charles Darwin.

Oxford & Elinor

In 1887 Argon was accepted into Oxford University's School of Medicine where he studied for six years graduating in 1893.
During this time he met and fell in love with a beautiful young artist called Elinor Dean.
Argon and Elinor married shortly after graduation in 1894 and the following year their son Charles was born. Painting of young Argon Elinor Sprockitt 1893

Back to Nantwich

In 1899 Argon moved his young family back to his home town of Nantwich.
He worked as a Physician locally and the family were comfortable. Often they would holiday in Scotland. Argon, much like his father, loved Scotland and would often, humorously, prescribe the fresh highland air to the sick that he tended to.

A cure for baldness?

Around the turn of the century Professor Argon Sprockitt started to become bald. His fine head of hair soon vanished until he was left with a shiny bald head.
This disturbed him a great deal and he took to wearing hats (something he had often resisted in the past since he felt they were silly).
Argon would work late in to the night in his laboratory. He was determined to find a cure for his balding head!

The Dabberwocky

He never did find a cure. But instead he found something quite a fair bit more remarkable.
In January 1902 Argon Sprockitt discovered the Dabberwocky. Monsters living amongst us.
Of course the full detail of how Professor Argon discovered these mysterious beasts is written in his journal. But discover them he did and his life would never be the same again.

World War I

In May 1912 Professor Argon joined the Army's medical service. The world was a changing place and England was as nervous as the rest of Europe with growing tensions between countries.
Argon, at 43, decided it was the right thing to do to lend his skills to a worthy cause.
Sure enough, in 1914, war broke out between England and Germany. Most of the conflict was focused on the western front along the borders of France and Belgium.
Argon witnessed a great deal but due to ill health was forced to return home.

The Monsters Amongst Us

As he recovered Argon continued his work researching the bizarre phenomenon of monsters living in Nantwich.
His journal 'The Monsters Amongst Us' was taking shape and Professor Argon would often be found sitting in the town sketching and writing what he saw.
Argon Sprockitt was dedicated to uncovering the truth about these mysterious monsters and developed many theories which you can read about.

Letter to the grandchild of a grandchild

Book image As he grew older Professor Argon knew that he would be unable to complete his work alone. In the winter of 1941, frustrated by his inability to uncover many hidden stories, he wrote a letter to the grandchild of his own grandson, Daniel, urging him to continue his research.
Daniel's wife Lucille was pregnant with Argon's great grandchild and sure enough in 1942 baby Josef was born. Daniel was away fighting for the allies in Burma during WW2. He died in combat and would never see his son.

Quite why Argon chose to address his letter to a child he would most likely never meet, is a mystery.
In his letter he laid out the foundations of his beliefs. He encouraged this great, great grandchild to continue his work and informed them of what to expect.
This letter is included in full in the journal.

'Never stop believing'

Professor Argon Sprockitt died on holiday in Scotland in 1964 aged 96.
His final words to his wife Elinor were 'Never stop believing, my love. Never.'
Elinor Sprockitt died the following year.