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Trant, Luther. Luther Trant was created by Edwin Balmer (Bronson Beta, Speed Spaulding) and William MacHarg (Detective O’Malley) and appeared in twenty-one stories in a variety of pulps from 1909 to 1930, beginning with “The Man in the Room” (Hampton’s Magazine, May 1909); several of the stories were collected in The Achievements of Luther Trant (1910).
Luther Trant is a Scientific Detective. Trant uses a wide variety of scientific equipment, all of which are described at excessive length. Chemical baths, X-ray machines, lie-detectors, advanced microscopes, galvanometer-like devices which measure physical responses to emotional stress, "pendulum chronoscopes"--they all appear in the Trant stories and are crucial in helping Trant solve the crimes. But Trant is more than just his machines. He is an eager and enthusiastic criminologist and is always vigorous in his pursuit of the criminal. He is a psychologist, although he relies more on numbers than on insights into personalities. He has enormous amounts of energy, moves quickly, and speaks in a decisive and abrupt manner. Trant is short, "stumpy," athletic, and clean cut. He has a shock of red hair, mismatched eyes, and beneath his blue, right eye is a small red scar.
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