This frank admission comes in the 1993 "Jehovah's Witnesses--Proclaimers of God's Kingdom," page 48:
"The expression 'Watch Tower' is not unique to Russell's writings or to Jehovah's Witnesses. George Storrs published a book in the 1850s called The Watch Tower: Or, Man in Death; and the Hope for a Future Life. The name was also incorporated in the title of various religious periodicals."
What the Society doesn't tell you is Storrs' Adventist background. So, Russell owes to Adventists more than he admits in the pages of Zion's Watch Tower. Even the name of his magazine and society derive from Adventists! The Watch Tower or mispah was a prominent symbol among the Adventist groups in the 1800s. They believed they were God's Watchman on the watchtower per Isaiah 21:6, 8 and Habakkuk 2:1-4.
Speaking on the Bible class he organized in 1868, Russell comments in ZWT May, 1890: "...from 1870 to 1875 was a time of constant growth and knowledge and love of God and his Word...we were then merely getting the general outline of God's plan, and unlearning many long-cherished errors, the time for a clear discernment of the minutiae having not yet fully come. And here I should and do gratefully mention assistance rendered by Brothers Geo. Stetson and Geo. Storrs, the latter the editor of the Bible Examiner, both now deceased..." And what in addition to the name 'Watch Tower" might this assistance have been? George Storrs did not believe in the immortality of the soul or eternal punishment. Now do you get the connection? George Storrs obituary appears in the Feb. 1880 issue of ZWT, page 7, where Russell calls him a "faithful servant," who will soon "enter into the joys of the Lord." Is it any wonder he held Storrs in such high esteem?
For a journal called The Watch Tower see