3 December – 1800-1810: Dalton, Marcet & Davy
Day 3 of the chemistry advent timeline looks at two giants of chemistry and a less well-known chemistry textbook author who none-the-less had a huge impact.
John Dalton is well known for developing ideas about atoms, creating a system of atomic masses, and even proposing his own element symbols. Find out more about those symbols here.
Jane Marcet’s name isn’t well known, but the textbooks she published on chemistry was the most popular chemistry text of the 19th century. Though Marcet’s initial aim was to promote chemical education to women, it also inspired Michael Faraday to pursue a career in chemistry. You can read her book online, and there’s a great profile of her from the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Finally, Humphry Davy was a pioneer of electrochemistry, using it to discover and isolate a host of new elements. His lectures were also the inspiration for Marcet’s textbook! The Royal Institution has a neat interactive timeline of his life and achievements.