Who’s that dude with the crazy curly coif? It’s James Bowman Lindsay! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, James Bowman Lindsday!
Good ol’ Jimmy BL here is a lesser known but still influential figure in the history of light and electricity. What’s funny about Jimbo here is that he, like many of his contemporaries across the ages, wasn’t a d-bag bent on world domination and capitalistic tendencies like Edison or Westinghouse. James was a good person with morals and values and all of those things people have told me about in my life.
(bwa, ha ha ha)
How James became involved in the industry was on two fronts – he invented an early version of an incandescent lamp, and he developed a system of wireless telegraphy that preceded Guglielmo Marconi‘s radio telegraphy devices. James Bowman Lindsay claimed that his electric incandescent lamp gave him the ability to read a book at “a distance of one and a half feet,” and he displayed it at a public meeting in Scotland in July of 1835. Unfortunately for Lindsay, his lack of being a ruthless scientist and businessman allowed Edison to take over the patent some 38 years later.
What was cool about Jimmy B here is that he was passionate about his work. I mean really passionate about it – to the point where he never married, gave his whole life to the industry for the better, and died while still conducting his own research. Now that is dedication.
We can thank James Bowman Lindsay for arc welding, submarine telegraphy, and an early form of the incandescent lamp (in addition to just being a hell of a guy and incredible astronomer, scientist, and developer). Thanks Jimbo, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DUDE!