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John William Draper

John William Draper
Born May 5, 1811(1811-05-05)
St. Helens, Merseyside, England
Died January 4, 1882 (aged 70)
Hastings-on-Hudson, New York
Nationality American
Known for photochemistry

John William Draper (May 5, 1811 – January 4, 1882) was an American (English-born) scientist, philosopher, physician, chemist, historian, and photographer.

Contents

Early life

John William Draper was born May 5, 1811 in St. Helens, Merseyside, England to John Christopher Draper, a Wesleyan clergyman and Sarah (Ripley) Draper. He also had three sisters, Dorothy Catherine, Elizabeth Johnson, and Sarah Ripley. On June 23, he was baptized by the Wesleyan minister Jabez Bunting. His father often needed to move the family due to serving various congregations throughout England. John William was home tutored until 1822, when he entered Woodhouse Grove School. He returned to home instruction (1826) prior to entering University College London in 1829.[1]

On September 13, 1831, John William married Antonia Coetana de Paiva Pereira Gardner (c.1814-1870), the daughter of Daniel Gardner, a court physician to John VI of Portugal and Charlotte of Spain. Antonia was born in Brazil after the royal family fled Portugal with Napoleon's invasion. There is dispute as to the identity of Antonia's mother. Around 1830, she was sent with her brother Daniel to live with their aunt in London.[2]

Following his father's death in July, 1831, John William's mother was urged to move with her children to Virginia. John William hoped to acquire a teaching position at a local Methodist college.[3]

Virginia

In 1832, the family settled in Mecklenburg County, Virginia 7 1/2 miles (12 km) east (on Virginia State Route 47) from Christiansville (now Chase City). Although he arrived too late to obtain the prospective teaching position, John William established a laboratory in Christiansville. Here he conducted experiments and published eight papers before entering medical school. His sister, Dorothy Catherine Draper provided finances through teaching drawing and painting for his medical education. In March 1836, he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. That same year, he began teaching at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia.[4]

New York

In 1837, he took an appointment at New York University; he was elected professor of chemistry and botany the next year. He was a professor in its school of medicine from 1840 to 1850, president of that school from 1850 to 1873, and professor of chemistry until 1881. He was a founder of the New York University Medical School.

Work

He did important research in photochemistry, made portrait photography possible by his improvements (1839) on Louis Daguerre's process, and published a textbook on Chemistry (1846), textbook on Natural Philosophy (1847), textbook on Physiology (1866), and Scientific Memoirs (1878) on radiant energy. He was also the first person to take an astrophotograph; he took the first photo of the Moon which showed any lunar features in 1840. Then in 1843 he made daguerreotypes which showed new features on the moon in the visible spectrum. In 1850 he was making photo-micrographs and engaged his then teenage son, Henry, into their production.

He developed the proposition in 1842 that only light rays that are absorbed can produce chemical change. It came to be known as the Grotthuss–Draper law when his name was teamed with a prior but apparently unknown promulgator Theodor Grotthuss of the same idea in 1817.

In 1847 he published the observation that all solids glow red at about the same temperature, about 977˚ F (798 K), which has come to be known as the Draper point.[5][6]

Contributions to the discipline of history: He is well known also as the author of The History of the Intellectual Development of Europe (1862), applying the methods of physical science to history, a History of the American Civil War (3 vols., 1867-1870), and a History of the Conflict between Religion and Science (1874). The last book listed is among the most influential works on the conflict thesis, which takes its name from Draper's title.

He served as the first president of the American Chemical Society between 1876 and 1877.[7]

Children

  • John Christopher Draper, 1835-1885
  • Henry Draper, 1837-1882
  • Virginia Draper Maury, 1839-1885
  • Daniel Draper, 1841-1931
  • William Draper, 1845-1853
  • Antonia Draper Dixon, 1849-1923

Death

He died on January 4, 1882 at his home in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York at the age of 70.[8] The funeral was held at St Mark's Church in-the-Bowery in New York City. He was buried in Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York.[9]

The Draper House

Legacy

In 1975, Draper's house in Hastings was designated a National Historic Landmark.

In 1976, New York University founded the John W. Draper Interdisciplinary Master's Program in Humanities and Social Thought (Draper Program) [1] in honour of his life-long commitment to interdisciplinary study.

In 2001, Draper was designated an ACS National Historical Chemical Landmark in recognition of his role as the first president of American Chemical Society.[2]

References

  1. ^ Fleming, Donald. John William Draper and the Religion of Science. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1950.
  2. ^ Ibid., p. 7-8.
  3. ^ Ibid., p. 8.
  4. ^ Ibid., p.9-13
  5. ^ "Science: Draper's Memoirs". The Academy (London: Robert Scott Walker) XIV (338): 408. Oct. 26, 1878. http://books.google.com/books?id=hZINAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA408&dq=draper+point+red+1847&lr=&as_brr=0&ei=6sxtSpnpLoLglATlh4RW.  
  6. ^ J. R. Mahan (2002). Radiation heat transfer: a statistical approach (3rd ed.). Wiley-IEEE. p. 58. ISBN 9780471212706. http://books.google.com/books?id=y9zUEzA7iN0C&pg=PA58&dq=draper-point+red&lr=&as_drrb_is=q&as_minm_is=0&as_miny_is=&as_maxm_is=0&as_maxy_is=&as_brr=3&ei=H8ttSo_2LImMkQTwvuxO.  
  7. ^ ACS Presidents, accessed October 22, 2006
  8. ^ New York Times, January 5, 1882.
  9. ^ New York Times, January 11, 1882.

Bibliography

  • Barker, George Frederick. Memoir of John William Draper: 1811-1882. Washington, D.C., 1886.
  • Draper, John William. (1875). History of the Conflict between Religion and Science. Henry S. King & Co (reissued by Cambridge University Press, 2009; ISBN 9781108000697)
  • Fleming, Donald. John William Draper and the Religion of Science. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1950.
  • Miller, Lillian B., Frederick Voss, and Jeannette M. Hussey. The Lazzaroni: Science and Scientists in Mid-Nineteenth-Century America. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1972.

Draper's Publications

External links

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

JOHN WILLIAM DRAPER (1811-1882), American scientist, was born at St Helen's, near Liverpool, on the 5th of May 1811. He studied at Woodhouse Grove, at the University of London, and, after removing to America in 1832, at the medical school of the University of Pennsylvania in 1835-1836. In 1837 he was elected professor of chemistry in the University of the City of New York, and was a professor in its school of medicine in 1840-1850, president of that school in 1850-1873, and professor of chemistry until 1881. He died at Hastings, New York, on the 4th of January 1882. He made important researches in photochemistry, made portrait photography possible by his improvements (1839) on Daguerre's process, and published a Text-book on Chemistry (1846), Text-book on Natural Philosophy (1847), Textbook on Physiology (1866), and Scientific Memoirs (1878) on radiant energy. He is well known also as the author of The History of the Intellectual Development of Europe (1862), applying the methods of physical science to history, a History of the American Civil War (3 vols., 1867-1870), and a History of the Conflict between Religion and Science (1874).

His son, Henry Draper (1837-1882), graduated at the University of New York in 1858, became professor of natural science there in 1860, and was professor of physiology (in the medical school) and dean of the faculty in 1866-1873. He succeeded his father as professor of chemistry, but only for a year, dying in New York on the 20th of November 1882. Henry Draper's most important contributions to science were made in spectroscopy; he ruled metal gratings in 1869-1870, made valuable spectrum photographs after 1871, and proved the presence of oxygen in the sun in a monograph of 1877. Edward C. Pickering carried on his study of stellar spectra with the funds of the Henry Draper Memorial at Harvard, endowed by his widow (née Mary Anna Palmer) .

See accounts by George F. Barker in Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Science, vols. 2 and 3 (Washington, 1886, 1888).


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