James Lind

Lind, James, 1716–94, English naval surgeon. Considered the founder of naval hygiene in England, Lind observed on a ten-week cruise (1746) that 80 seamen of 350 came down with scurvy. In his Treatise of the Scurvy (1753) he emphasized the preventive effect of ingesting fresh fruit or lemon juice, thus reviving a practice of Dutch and English seafarers of the 16th cent. However, it was not until 1795, and through the efforts of Sir Gilbert Blane (1749–1834), that lemon juice was officially ordered as part of naval rations by the Admiralty. Lind also improved sanitary conditions aboard ships of the line, advocated the distilling of seawater for drinking purposes on long journeys, and, through his writings on tropical diseases, helped prevent much unnecessary loss of life during British campaigns.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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