James Bowman Lindsay

1799 - 1862

James Bowman Lindsay Monument, Western Cemetery, Dundee
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

James Bowman Lindsay Monument, Western Cemetery, Dundee

Born in Carmyllie, near Arbroath, Lindsay was a visionary and pioneer in the field of electricity. Although from a poor farming family, they sent him to St. Andrews University. He perfected the world's first constant electric light, beating both Edison and Swann, who are credited with inventing the light-bulb, by decades. He was also the first to demonstrate wireless telegraphy through water. He is buried in Dundee's Western Cemetery and his memorial, which was erected by public subscription, extols his work thus:

"A pioneer of electrical science; foretold the application of electricity as an illuminant, a motive power to replace steam and a substitute for coal in heating. He devised an electric telegraph (1832), suggested welding by electricity, produced a continuous electric light (1835), proposed a submarine transatlantic telegraph (1843), and accomplished wireless telegraphy through water (1853), as a philologist his attainments were extraordinary, in 1828 he began the compilation of a dictionary in fifty languages, uncompleted when he died. An accomplished scientist, a profound student and an earnest Christian."

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