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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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John Dalton, by Thomas Phillips - NPG 5963

John Dalton

by Thomas Phillips
oil on canvas, 1835
On display in Room 18 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 5963

John Dalton, by Charles Frederick Carter - NPG 1102

John Dalton

by Charles Frederick Carter
embossed paper medallion, 1842
NPG 1102

Men of Science Living in 1807-8, by Sir John Gilbert, and  Frederick John Skill, and  William Walker, and  Elizabeth Walker (née Reynolds) - NPG 1075

Men of Science Living in 1807-8

by Sir John Gilbert, and Frederick John Skill, and William Walker, and Elizabeth Walker (née Reynolds)
pencil and wash, 1858-1862
NPG 1075

John Dalton, by William Henry Worthington, after  Joseph Allen - NPG D18095

John Dalton

by William Henry Worthington, after Joseph Allen
line engraving, published 1823 (1814)
NPG D18095

John Dalton, by and published by James Stephenson - NPG D34671

John Dalton

by and published by James Stephenson
line engraving, published May 1845
NPG D34671


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