Sunday November 29, 2020 Smile of the Day: Invisible Ink

On this Day:

In 1775, Sir James Jay is credited with inventing invisible ink. Sir James (October 16, 1732 – 1815) was an American physician and politician. He was brother of John Jay, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. While initially a supporter of American independence, he later changed his views becoming a Loyalist and went into exile in London after the Treaty of Paris recognized independence.

Sir James invented two special fluids, and sent a supply to his brother John Jay in New York. Sir James would use the ink at the bottom of brief, friendly letters to his brother and even send the letters unsealed, so that British authorities might inspect the contents. Using this method, James told John of the British ministry’s decision to force the colonies into submission; he also wrote from London to Benjamin Franklin and Silas Deane in Paris and warned them of Gen. John Burgoyne’s intended invasion from Canada. Deane had been given a supply of ink by John Jay shortly before sailing for France in March 1776 as a spy, and later James Jay sent him additional supplies.

Letters from Deane were specially handled by John Jay who treated them with the particular chemical to make the writing visible; even Robert Morris, American Revolutionary War financier, submitted his Deane letters to Jay for treatment and kept the invisible ink technique confidential.

Later secret reports of George Washington together with those of his spies in New York, Abraham Woodhull of Long Island (codename: Samuel Culper) and Robert Townsend of New York City (codename: Culper Jr), were written in what Washington termed “white ink”; the second liquid was used to make the secret writing visible. (per Wikipedia)

First, a Story:

How did the doctor cure the invisible man?  He took him to the ICU.

Second, a Song:

Well we all know that invisible ink is used by Secret Agents.  So what is more appropriate than a song about secret agents, particularly the most famous secret agent of all time?  

We are talking about Bond, James Bond.

The James Bond series focuses on a fictional British Secret Service agent created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short-story collections.

The character—also known by the code number 007—has also been adapted for television, radio, comic strip, video games and film. The films are the longest continually running film series of all time and have grossed over US$7.04 billion in total, making it the sixth-highest-grossing film series to date, which started in 1962 with Dr. No, starring Sean Connery as Bond.  

In 2015 the series was estimated to be worth $19.9 billion, making James Bond one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time.

The Bond films are renowned for a number of features, including the musical accompaniment, with the theme songs having received Academy Award nominations on several occasions, and two wins.

Other important elements which run through most of the films include Bond’s cars, his guns, and the gadgets with which he is supplied by Q Branch. The films are also noted for Bond’s relationships with various women, who are sometimes referred to as “Bond girls”.

Here is a video of various movie and TV secret agents set to “Secret Agent Man”, written by P. F. Sloan and Steve Barri for the opening titles of the American broadcast of the British spy series Danger Man, which aired in the U.S. as Secret Agent from 1964 to 1966. This version is an enhanced audio version of Johnny Rivers performing the song  (all per Wikipedia).  

I hope you enjoy this!


Thought for the Day:

“Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Have a great day!

© 2020 David J. Bilinsky and Colleen E. Bilinsky

Leave a Reply