John Dalton

John Dalton lived with his family in Eaglesfield, Cumberland. They lived in a small thatched cottage. When John was born he had an older brother, who was seven years older than him and a sister who was two years older than him. Johns birth was not recorded in the family bible, but when he asked his elders, they said he was born on the 5th of September in 1766. The Daltons were Quakers, and have been since the 1690’s. John was always a very smart and curious child. He was actually one of the smarter people in the village.

He was a lucky child, who received schooling. This was a very big deal considering there were only 215 English men that could even read. He was always interested in mathematics and in science. When John reached the age of twelve he opened a school of his own. This was a problem with the Daltons because he was often threatened and beat up. Around 1790 he finished an eleven volume classified botanical collection. He became a well known person in the community for his amazing achievements in academics.

He became very interested in becoming a doctor. The family although had to talk John out of becoming a doctor due to the lack of money in the families income. They also did not feel that John would like being a physician in the long run. Later at the age of twenty six John discovered that he was color blind. This occurred when his mother and he were fighting about the color of a skirt. In 1793 John moved to Manchester to tutor. This is where he began working on his greatest work.

He then joined a group called Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society. In 1773, he published his first book, Meteorological Observations and Essays. What he wrote in the was “Each gas exists and acts independently and purely physically, rather than chemically. ” John was constantly studying and making observations. John made over 200,000 observations. In 1803, he attempted to explain his laws of partial pressures. That’s when John started to explain his major contribution to science called the atomic theory.

He figured this when he was studying for a test! He figured out that the reaction can take place on two different portions in exact ratios. In 1803 he stated the law of multiple proportions “The weights elements always combine with each other in small whole number ratios. ” He published his studies and it gave chemistry a language of its own. Not everyone excepted the atomic theory, so he published another book with even more evidence that it worked. John died on the 27 of July in 1844 due to a stroke.


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