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manchester history | john dalton
John Dalton
"John Dalton's records, carefully preserved for a century, were destroyed during the World War II bombing of Manchester. It is not only the living who are killed in war."
- author Isaac Asimov
john dalton | the colour blind inventor of the atomic theory
John Dalton was born a Quaker, on September 6th, 1766 in Eaglesfield, near Cockermouth in the Lake District.
It is said he began teaching at the age of 12 in a Quaker school in Cumberland before moving to Kendal in 1781 where he remained for 12 years. He finally came to Manchester at the age of 26, teaching mathematics and natural philosphy at the New College on Mosley Street. He lived at nearby 36 George Street, now part of China Town, which today is marked by a commerative plaque.
He was elected to the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society at 27, to whom he read his paper giving the first account of colour blindness, of which he suffered. John Dalton

During his life, Dalton was fascinated by the earth's atmosphere. This resulted in Dalton studying gases which would lead him to the formulation of the atomic theory. He speculated that the major difference between atoms was their masses and was the first to create a table of atomic weights.

He died in Manchester on July 27th, 1844 although his name lives on in John Dalton Street. There is a statue of him in the entrance of Manchester Town Hall, and also outside the Dalton Building at Manchester Metropolitan University, on the corner of Oxford Street and Chester Street. There's also a mural in the Town Hall, painted by Ford Madox Brown, depicting the scientist collecting marsh-fire gas for use in his experiments.
john dalton | books
John Dalton 1766-1844
John Dalton, 1766-1844 - A Bibliography of Works About Him
Extended second edition of Dalton's bibliography containing new sections with a superb current plan of Manchester, as well as one of 1793, showing places with Dalton associations. (AL Smythe, 1997)
John Dalton's Colour Vision Legacy
John Dalton's Colour Vision Legacy - Selected Proceedings of the International Conference
This book marks the 200th anniversary of the first description of a congenital colour vision defect by John Dalton. (Edited by Christine Dickinson, Ian Murray, David Carden, 1997)
The Concept of an Atom from Democritus to John Dalton
An investigation into the discussion about whether primary indivisible bodies exist, from Democritus in the fifth century BC, to John Dalton in 1802. It investigates Aristotle's opposition and whether the Democritean atom is the same as the Daltonian atom. (John J. McDonnell, 1992)
Dalton and the Contribution of Self-observation to Scientific Discovery - An Account of Colour Blindness by John Dalton (1766-1844)
(John Dalton, republished in 1992)
Dalton Tradition
Produced in conjunction with an exhibition at John Rylands Library in Manchester to mark the 150th anniversary of the Royal Society of Chemistry. A brief biography of John Dalton with description and history of the manuscript collection at the library. (by Diana M. Leitch, Alfred Williamson, 1991)
The Life of John Dalton 1766-1844
12 page biography from the Museum of Science & Industry in Manchester. (by Stuart Warburton, 1982)
John Dalton - Critical Assessments of His Life and Science
Assessment from Harvard University Press. (by Arnold Thackray, 1974)
Foundations of Atomic Theory
A collection of work by John Dalton, William Wollaston, and Thomas Hyde for the Alembic Club (edited by E & S Livingstone, 1969)
John Dalton and the Progress of Science
A valuable record of scholarly opinion on Dalton's achievements, presented to a conference of historians of science held in Manchester in 1966 to mark the bicentenary of Dalton's birth. (Edited by D S L Cardwell, 1968)
John Dalton and the Atom
Explores the reasons why Dalton's atomic theory had greater impact on the scientific world than other similar theories produced before his time, and investigates Dalton's work in other fields, including his discovery of the phenomenon of color blindness and his early scientific studies in meteorology. (by Frank Greenaway, 1966)
John Dalton, 1766-1844 - A Bibliography of Works by and About Him
The first edition of AL Smythe's bibliography - later updated in 1997. (AL Smythe, 1966)
Foundations of the Molecular Theory
Papers and extracts by John Dalton, Joseph-Louis Gay Lussac and Amedeo Avogadro for the Alembic Club (edited by E & S Livingstone, 1961)
Chemistry to the Time of Dalton
Chapters in the history of science from the Oxford University Press, 1925 (by EJ Holmyard, 1925)
John Dalton (English Men of Science, Volume 6)
(by J Millington, 1906)
A New View of the Origin of Dalton's Atomic Theory - A Contribution to Chemical History, Together with Letters and Documents Concerning the Life and Labours of John Dalton.
The great bulk of the manuscripts of John Dalton was destroyed in World War II, but important extracts from Dalton's scientific notebooks can be found in this early work. (by Henry E Roscoe. & Arthur Harden, 1896)

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