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borndied
1799 ca1869
an entrepreneur who increased public access to scientific equipment in Edinburgh in the 19th century. In the early 18th century, the Short family were scientific instrument makers in Edinburgh’s Southside. In 1776 their son Thomas leased some land on Calton Hill and built a Gothic House to display his instruments to the public. As a condition of his lease, the local council demanded that female relatives of Thomas could not inherit the building and its contents. When he died in 1788, his wife and children did not inherit it. In 1827 Maria Theresa Short returned from the West Indies claiming to be Thomas’s daughter.
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