Meteorological Observations and Essays

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Famed for his seminal work in the development of atomic theory, John Dalton (1766-1844) was a chemist and natural philosopher who served for years as professor of mathematics and natural philosophy at the New College, Manchester. Dalton was born into a Quaker family in the Lake District; his early interest in weather was inspired by a local instrument-maker and meteorologist. He began keeping a meteorological diary in 1787, and this 1793 book is one of his earliest publications. It contains not only meteorological observations but also speculations about their causes. Beginning with a description of the instruments needed to undertake such investigations, Dalton considers a variety of natural phenomena, finishing by offering various theories on the causes of the Aurora Borealis. This book also contains many of the ideas that would go on to be developed in his future research and publications, for which he is better known.