James Lind MD, FRS
The Real Doctor Frankenstein

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Lind the Cryptographer
and Silhouettist

In the later years of his life, Lind kept a small printing press at his house in Windsor. He developed his own system of Ogham - runic symbols representing the letters of the alphabet and punctuation marks. In 1803 he printed a guide to his system called Lindian Ogham.
The possible influence upon the young Percy Shelley of Lind's printing activities and his use of ogham was later discussed by Shelley's contemporary Charles Knight. In his memoir Passages of a Working Life (1864), Knight (a Windsor publisher's son) wrote: "Perhaps Shelley, who was credulous in worldly matters, as are most sceptics in religion, believed that the mysterious little books which Dr. Lind printed from characters which he called ‘ Lindian Ogham’, cut by himself into strange fashions from battered printing types which my father gave him, were the secret modes by which the Illuminati corresponded, even under the very eye of the Court. I doubt whether he were conjuror enough to make the shrewd King George III mistake covert Jacobinism for ostentatious loyalty".


Click on the images below to see the pages of Lindian Ogham:

      Front Page                       Pages 1 & 2                      Pages 3 & 4                     Pages 5 & 6                  Pages 7 & 8
Lind the Silhouettist
With his friend the Italian physicist Tiberio Cavallo, Lind developed a highly accurate method of drawing and reproducing silhouettes - which Lind preferred to call 'profiles' or 'shadows'.
This method involved creating an image of the subject by means of a 'perspective machine' ( a light box which used mirrors and lenses). The outline of the projected image would then be copied (and either enlarged or reduced in size) by using a pantograph - this was a device whereby a pen or pencil controlled by the artist was connected by a system of levers to another pen, which would produce an exact relica whose size could be varied.
Both the 'perspective machine' and the pantograph were designed and built by Lind himself.

A silhouette by Lind of his friends Sir Joseph Banks, FRS (1743-1820) and Dr Daniel Solander (1733-82)