John Dalton was born on September 6, 1766, in Eaglesfield, England. He was the son of a weaver and received his early education from his father also at a Quaker school in his hometown, where he began teaching at the age of twelve. In 1781 he moved to Kendal, where he conducted a school with his cousin and older brother.
He moved to Manchester in 1793, and lived there the rest of his life as a teacher, first at New College, and later as a tutor. He died on July 27, 1844. Dalton began a series of meteorological observations in 1787, which he continued for fifty-seven years. Altogether the time he spent added up to 200,000 observations and measurements on the weather in the Manchester region.
His interest in meteorology led him to study a variety of phenomena as well as the instruments used to measure them. He was the first to prove the validity of the concept that rain is precipitated by a decrease in temperature. Not by a change in temperature. His first work, “Meteorological Observations and Essays”(1793), attracted little attention.
In the next year, he presented a paper on color blindness to the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society. Dalton himself suffered from color blindness. This paper was the earliest description of vision, known as “Daltonism.”