James Bowman Lindsay Demonstrates a Constant Electric Light

James Bowman Lindsay was born in Cotton of West Hills, Carmyllie near Arbroath in Angus, Scotland, son of John Lindsay, farm worker, and Elizabeth Bowman.

Educated at St. Andrews University. As a student he soon made a name for himself in the fields of mathematics and physics and, after completing an additional course of studies in theology, he finally returned to Dundee in 1829 as Science and Mathematics Lecturer at the Watt Institution.

Among his technological innovations, which were not developed until long after his death, are the incandescent light bulb, submarine telegraphy and arc welding. Unfortunately, his claims are not well documented. In July 1835, Lindsay demonstrated a constant electric lamp at a public meeting in Dundee, Scotland. He stated that he could "read a book at a distance of one and a half feet". However, he did little to establish his claim or to develop the device, allowing Thomas Edison to finally claim it as his own over 40 years later.