John Dalton Biography

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John Dalton
(September 6, 1766–July 27, 1844)

November 14, 2012

John Dalton was born on September 6, 1766 in Eaglesfield, Cumberland to Joseph Dalton and Deborah Greenup. He grew up with an older brother named Jonathan and a younger sister named Mary. He was educated by his father and John Fletcher (a teacher at Quaker school), and started teaching himself after Mr. Fletcher had retired in 1778. Dalton was however unsuccessful and began farm work after two years. In 1781, he left the farm to become an assistant to his cousin George Bewley in Kendal. He spent twelve years there and in 1790, thought about studying law or medicine but since his family did not encourage him to do so, he remained a teacher until the spring of 1793, where he moved to Manchester. Here he was appointed teacher of math and natural philosophy at what is now known as Manchester College, Oxford until 1799 where he became a math and chemistry teacher.

After Dalton’s death, Dr. Thomson discovered the electron. He continued studying the atomic theory to come up with an improved atomic theory and “The Raisin Bun Theory.” Thomson’s atomic theory was that “matter is composed of atoms that contain electrons (negative particles) embedded in a positive material. The kind of element is characterized by the number of electrons in the atom.” Dalton is known as the one who developed the atomic theory and although some of his theories are proved false today, his “pioneer work” helped many chemists further his studies. Dalton is also known as the first person to scientifically note colour blindness as a disease.

Dalton’s Contribution to Science

1766| - Born September 6 in Eaglesfield, Cumberland to Joseph Dalton and Deborah Greenup * Grew up with a brother named Jonathan and a sister named Mary| 1778| - Year Mr. Fletcher retired and he began teaching himself * Unsuccessful so he decided to work on the farm| 1781| - Left the farm to become an assistant to his cousin in Kendal...
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