On This Day

John Dalton

Chemist, Physicist and Meteorologist John Dalton

Profession: Chemist, Physicist and Meteorologist


Biography: Born in a English Quaker family, Dalton was initially a teacher and studied meteorology. In 1793 he published his first paper on meteorology, based on his observations. His life-long observations of the weather did much to establish meteorology as a science.

After moving to Manchester to teach he soon after published a work on color blindness, something he himself suffered from. Dalton could only see shades of yellow. The condition was then called Daltonism for some time.

Dalton is most famous for his atomic theory and the law of partial pressures. Dalton believed different elements were made up of atoms of different mass and size. His atomic theory was a key step in the development of chemistry and in particular organic chemistry.

Born: September 6, 1766
Birthplace: Eaglesfield, Cumberland, England
Star Sign: Virgo

Died: July 27, 1844 (aged 77)

Historical Events

  • 1794-10-31 John Dalton's first lecture to Manchester Literary/Philosophical Society
  • 1803-10-21 English scientist John Dalton reads his paper on the absorption of gases by water to the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Soc - 1st outline of his atomic theory