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John Dalton

(1766-1844), Chemist and natural philosopher

Regency Portraits Catalogue Entry

Sitter in 15 portraits
A scientist and natural philosopher, Dalton is credited as the inventor of atomic theory. His research on the behaviour of gases under heat and pressure led him to conclude that matter is made up of atoms. The son of a weaver, he was one of a circle of intellectuals and scientists in Manchester in the early nineteenth-century. His publications include A New System of Chemical Philosophy (1808). His study of meteorology began in 1787 while he was teaching in the Lake District. In 1793, he took up a post in Manchester and his first paper to the Literary and Philosophical Society, in 1794, was research on his own visual problem, colour blindness. Daltonism is still a common term for colour blindness.

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