Dalton, John (1766-1844), British chemist and physicist, who developed the atomic theory upon which modern physical science is founded. Dalton was born on September 6, 1766, in Eaglesfield, Cumberland County, England. He was the son of a weaver and received his early education from his father and at a Quaker school in his native town, where he began teaching at the age of 12. In 1781 he moved to Kendal, where he conducted a school with his cousin and his elder brother. He went to Manchester in 1793 and spent the rest of his life there as a teacher, first at New College and later as a private tutor. He died in Manchester on July 27, 1844.
Dalton began a series of meteorological observations in 1787 that he continued for 57 years, accumulating some 200,000 observations and measurements on the weather in the Manchester area. Dalton's interest in meteorology led him to study a variety of phenomena as well as the instruments used to measure them. He was the first to pr...