John Dalton's Early Life

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Early Life

John Dalton was born on September 6th, 1776 in Cumberland, England. He had two siblings. He and his brother were both colorblind. John Dalton was an English schoolteacher, chemist, scientist, and meteorologist. He is well known for his theory of atomism.

School Teacher

At 12 Dalton was teaching at a school he attended in Cumberland. He later became a principle at a school where he was an assistant teacher. After a couple of years he became a math and philosophy tutor at the New College of Manchester. From Manchester he gained access to the laboratories. His interest in meteorology increased rapidly.


Dalton was an ideal meteorological observer. He made daily meteorological observations. His main achievements
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Pieces of Dalton’s theory have been altered or changed because of the discovery of subatomic particles and isotopes.

Dalton and Atoms

John Dalton’s study of gases led him to question what these substances were really made of. Dalton wanted to solve the 2000 year-old mystery about atoms proposed by Democritus. He carried out countless chemical reactions. In 1808 published Dalton’s Law in his book A New System of Chemical Philosophy.

Dalton found that 12 grams of carbon could react with 16 grams of oxygen to form carbon monoxide, and with 32 grams of oxygen to form carbon dioxide. After analyzing his data, Dalton believed that matter exists as atoms. He found that atoms of different elements have different masses.

Atoms of the same element can have different masses, this is called isotopes. After 200 years John Dalton discovery of the Dalton’s Atomic theory it is still used today John Dalton’s atomic theory is the foundation of which Chemistry was built on.


In 1826 John Dalton was awarded the Society’s Royal Medal for his Atomic Theory. The French Academy of Sciences elected Dalton as one of its eight members in 1833. In 1834, he was elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and
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