James Sandy

Inventor of the Invisible Hinge.

James Sandy was born in Alyth in about 1766 and lived in what is now the Alyth Hotel. Crippled in both legs as a result of two separate accidents, he nevertheless went on to become known as ‘the Alyth Genius’ for his remarkable creativity and ingenuity.

Among many other items, he made musical and fine optical instruments and clocks. He suggested improvements for flax-spinning machinery and he even made artificial limbs and false teeth.

He is most famous as the inventor of a special type of wooden-hinged snuff box. His concealed hinge did not get clogged with grains of snuff and when the box closed it was airtight.

He became well known for his skill and inventive mind and his home was a meeting place for many distinguished people. His tombstone in the Alyth Arches graveyard was paid for by public subscription.

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