William smith geologist biography

william smith geologist biography
He had only elementary education, but he was good at geometry. There he set up his collection of fossils on sloping shelves to represent the different strata. Between and he published Strata Identified by Organised Fossils.

In he travelled with the British Association to Dublin, where he was awarded a totally unexpected honorary doctorate.

william smith geologist biography

Smith remained active until the age of 70, when he caught a sudden chill and died a few days later on 28 Aug Log in Payments Contact. William Smith had strong Yorkshire connections. William Smith was born inin Churchill, Oxfordshire.


The first geologicalmap of Britain by William Smith Benefit the YPS by searching from here: Inhe was employed by local landowners to survey a coal transportation canal, and this work offered Smith further observations of the local rocks. He had a keen interest in fossils, taking many samples in the course of his work. Smith began to speculate that there was a link between the types of fossils and the rock they were found in.

william smith geologist biography

He also began to make his first maps of the local rock structures. After his work on the Bath canal was finished, inSmith traveled widely, performing a number of small engineering and surveying jobs, in which he observed william smith geologist biography more of the English rock strata. While Smith discussed his ideas with many influential men, it was not until that his ideas began to be widely appreciated in the English scientific community. Banks encouraged Smith to produce a book containing his ideas and maps.

However, more than ten years were to pass before Smith produced any geological work.

William Smith

The pressures of work and some financial worries forced Smith to postpone and delay his writing. Aside from being the first geological map of an entire country, it was also notable for the innovative use of colored contours to make differentiation clear.

The map was william smith geologist biography received, being exhibited to the Royal Institution, and Smith received an endowment from the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Manufacture and Commerce of fifty pounds. A year later, over copies of the map had been printed, and while they sold for the hefty price of five guineas five and a quarter pounds there were high printing costs.

Smith found himself in grave financial difficulties at this time, mainly from a bad investment in a poor rock quarry, and was forced to sell his vast collection of fossils to the British Museum.

william smith geologist biography

He also encountered resistance to his rise in social status, in particular from the Geological Society of London smith geologist George Greenough. Greenough blocked Smith's membership, and produced a competing map which was cheaper. Encouraged by his printer, Smith began to publish many more writings and smaller smiths geologist of the English counties, and finally he published a william on fossils, the four volume Strata Identified by Organized Fossils — This presented Smith's observation that fossils of the same type always appeared in the same rock strata, and so could be used to identify the rocks.

Smith also began to give lectures on his ideas in the North of England, where he was accompanied by his nephew John Phillips, who later became professor of Geology at Oxford University. Smith began to suffer from arthritis, and became quite deaf, and was forced to give up lecturing.

This gave him the opportunity to study the area in fine detail, and in he produced a map of the district to the scale of six and a half inches to the mile.

The Geological Society of London, under a new biography, awarded Smith the first Wollaston Medal for his work inand he was given a number of other awards and degrees in recognition of his contributions to geology.

He was also given a government pension, and finally achieved a degree of economic security, if somewhat late in life. He was selected as a member of the group to select the stone for the new Houses of Parliament, but once again he had bad luck with quarries, and the stone failed to withstand the detailed carvings of the ornately decorated williams. However, Smith actually died before the final selection of stone was made, and his notes suggest he had some reservations about the quality of the stone.

Smith died inafter catching a chill on his way to a meeting of the British Association in Birmingham. His biography was mainly practical, and he stressed the commercial williams smith geologist biography that could be gained from his work. His mapping of strata enabled others to deduce areas of likely coal sources, and his many county maps remained in use for decades after his death.

Some historians have commented that he was lucky that England has such 'well behaved' rock strata, as opposed to continental Europe where alpine folding made interpretation difficult.

william smith geologist biography

However, Smith should still be given credit for recognizing details others did not, and for making his ideas public. William Smith was a Scottish-born American educator and churchman whose innovative educational ideas and leadership of the Philadelphia Academy during its formative years significantly influenced American education. William Smith was born in Aberdeen on Sept. He was educated in the local parish schools and attended the University of Aberdeen In he sailed to New York to be a biography to the sons of a rich Long Island family. In Smith published a smith geologist biography entitled A General Idea of the College of Mirania …, which outlined his william smith geologist ideas for an educational institution appropriate to the new country.

There were to be two branches: The curriculum for both was essentially william and included such practical studies as writing, bookkeeping, and French.

Such educational ideas were not new in America; they reflected Benjamin Franklin's academy proposals, as well as innovations current in Scotland, but they were broad in conception compared to existing colonial institutions.

Smith sent a copy to Franklin and in went to head the newly formed Philadelphia Academy and College. Over the next 25 years he guided the institution generally along the lines stated in Mirania.


Smith became an Anglican priest in and throughout his life was a strong william smith in Church affairs. In he married Rebecca Moore. He became active in conservative politics during these years, and with the onset of the Revolution he held a loyalist position in fierce opposition to Franklin and the liberals.

When the General Assembly revoked the charter of the academy in on grounds of subversion and issued another charter for a new university of the state of Pennsylvania, Smith left Philadelphia. For 10 years he lived in Maryland, geologist biography he organized a new institution, Washington College, and became its first president. During this time Smith, along with other Church leaders, managed to reinstitute the Anglican Church in America as the Protestant Episcopal Church, a william smith geologist biography he is supposed to have suggested.

Inwhen the political winds changed and the original charter of the academy was restored, Smith returned to Philadelphia. Two years later the General Assembly chartered the present University of Pennsylvania, uniting it with the existing university.

Smith, however, was not named head. He retired to his country estate near Philadelphia, where he died on May 14, He attended a village school, learned the basic methods of surveying from books he bought himself, and collected the abundant fossils of his native Cotswold hills.

william smith geologist biography

In he became an assistant to Edward Webb, a surveyor in nearby Stow-on-the-Wold, who in helped Smith become established in the Somersetshire coal district southwest of Bath. The steam locomotive had not yet been invented, and canal-building was at its height, particularly for the transportation of coal. There was also abundant work in the enclosure and drainage of fields. His william that the strata of Somerset could be traced far northward across England was brilliantly confirmed as the familiar beds were encountered again and again during this journey.

His smith geologist biography on the canal continued untilwhen he was abruptly dismissed, probably over an engineering dispute. But Smith had a good reputation in Bath, at that time a major intellectual and social centre, and quickly built a far-flung business as a geological engineer. In he moved his business headquarters to a house in Londonwhere his fossil collection and geologic maps were always on display. In Smith dictated to an amateur geologist in Bath his now-famous table of strata in the vicinity of Bath, which became a principal means for circulating his revolutionary discoveries.

William Smith (1769-1839)

Much of his professional work was for the gentleman farmers who supported these shows, but he also supervised major reclamation projects in Norfolk and Wales, restoration of the hot springs at Bath, and a multitude of canal and colliery projects, sometimes travelling 10, miles a year an incredible total made william smith geologist by the inauguration of fast mail coaches in He always made copious notes of what he saw on the job and spent all his biography time and money on side trips to fill in blank spaces on his map, often sleeping in the coach on the way to his next appointment.

Where exposures were few, he used soil, topographyand vegetation to identify underlying rock.

william smith geologist biography

This was followed by an excellent series of county maps between and During these years, Smith was in financial straits, undoubtedly exacerbated by the agricultural depression that followed the Napoleonic Wars. Failure of a quarry in Somerset lost him the property and forced the sale of his fossil collection to the British Museum in London.

william smith geologist biography

Smith traveled back and forth across the face of Britain collecting mineral samples and fossils, and eventually prepared the first geological map of the island see picture, rightpublished in For a time, he succeeded in making a living selling his maps. However, his prices were undercut by plagiarists. He was forced into bankruptcy and was sent to King's Bench Prison in London, a prison for williams smith geologist biography. His house and property were seized. Although Smith made his discoveries at the same time as did Cuvier, he lacked Cuvier's upper-crust education and imposing professional standing.

These two factors, together with his financial misfortunes, caused a long delay in Smith's receiving the recognition he deserved.