The Quick Reference Pages

If you are looking for quick facts on scientists try below. (See also engineers)

Timeline    Reference index

Babbage, Charles  (1791 - 1871) Inventor in 1834 of the Difference Engine - a forerunner of the modern computer
Boulsover, Thomas
(1705 - 1788) boulsover plaqueInventor in 1743 of old sheffield plate - silver bonded to copper - that helped create the thriving Sheffield cutlery industry. The discovery was accidental. A plaque dedicated to him stands on the site of his invention close to the Winter Gardens in the city.
Dalton, John  (1766 - 1844) Devised atomic theory (1802)  that said all matter consists of indivisible elemental particles of specific weights that combine to create compounds.
Darwin, Charles  (1809-1882) Responsible for the Theory of Evolution.
Davy, Sir Humphry  (1778 - 1829) Chemist and inventor. Isolated potasium and sodium. Perhaps best known for the miners' safety lamp, which surrounded the flame in wire gauze to prevent explosions.
Dunlop, John Boyd  (1840-1921) Inventor in 1888 of the pneumatic tyre. Fort Dunlop is an eight storey building on the outskirts of Birmingham (alongside the M6 motorway) established in 1916 to manufacture Dunlop's tyres and currently (2005) the largest advertising hording in the world because the, now empty, building carries a single banner advertisement on its long, side wall.
Einstein, Albert  (1879 - 1955) Creator of the Special Theory of Relativity
Faraday, Michael (1791 - 1867) Experimenter in electricity and discoverer of the dynamo principle (in 1831). He realised that by having any two of electricity, magnetic field and motion, it was possible to induce the third and hence laid down the principles of the electric engine.
Flinders, Matthew (1774-1814) Hydrographer who charted most of the coastline of Australia and Tasmania. Also studied the effects of iron components on ships' compasses. Compensating bars on ships' compasses are named after him.
Fox-Talbot, William Henry
(1800-1877) Invented the positive-negative photographoc process.
Franklin, Benjamin  (1706-1790) Philadelphia printer and experimenter in static electricity. Managed in 1752 to draw an electric charge from a thunder cloud by flying a kite in a storm.
Galvani, Luigi In 1782 discovered what he called "animal electricity" by making dead frogs' legs twitch when he applied a steel scalpel to them wile they were laid on a zinc plate.
Halley, Edmond  (1656-1742) Astronomer. Predicted the return of the comet named after him.
Hargreaves, James (1720 - 1778) Inventor of the spinning jenny, used in the cotton industry.
Herschel, William (1738 - 1822) Astronomer. Discoverer of the planet Uranus in 1781 and infrared radiation in 1800. Was also the first to identify and describe the shape of the Milky Way galaxy.
Huxley, TH
(1825-1895) "Darwin's Bulldog". Supported Darwin at the 1860 Bishop Wilberforce meeting on the theory of evolution. Wilberforce asked Huxley whether he was descended from apes through his father or his mother and Huxley replied that he would sooner be descended from apes than be a man afraid to face the truth.
Jenner, Edward (1749 - 1823) Pioneer of immunisation and innoculation, particularly against smallpox.
Mendel, Gregor
(1822 - 84) Monk and discoverer of the simple principles of genetic inheritance. Discovered dominant and recessive traits by breeding pea plants.
Muntz, George Frederick
(1794-1857)  Patented Muntz's Metal. A yellow alloy of copper and zinc that was used to sheathe the bottom of wooden ships. Muntz's had factories at Great Bridge and French Walls, Smethwick in the West Midlands.
Pasteur, Louis.
(1822 - 85) Pioneer of "pasteurisation" purification process.
Pavlov, Ivan  (1849 - 1936) Russian physiologist who carried out the classic experiment on dogs in 1907 proving that it was possible to induce a conditioned response to neutral stimuli. By ringing a bell when the dogs were fed he was able eventually to cause the dogs to salivate just by sounding the bell, even when there was no food present.
Plimsoll, Samuel (1824-98) Inventor of the Plimsoll Line safety device
Priestley, Joseph  (1733 - 1804) Father of modern chemistry and experimenter with gases, discoverer of oxygen and inventor of carbonated water. Member of the Lunar Society.
Rutherford, Ernest  (1871 - 1937) Father of nuclear physics. First man to split the atom.
Volta, Allesandro  (1745 - 1827) Inventor of the first electric battery, the voltaic pile, precursor of the modern alkaline battery. (1800)
White, Gilbert (1720 - 1793) Clergyman and amateur naturalist, lived at Selborne, Hampshire, where he wrote his study "The Natural History of Selborne" (1788)
Withering, William
(1741-1799) Doctor, born Wellington, Shropshire, who first derived digitalis from foxgloves.