A reprint of a classical work in the Cambridge Library Collection.
Famed for his seminal work in the development of atomic theory, John Dalton (1766-1844) was a chemist and natural philosopher who served for years as professor of mathematics and natural philosophy at the New College, Manchester. Dalton was born into a Quaker family in the Lake District; his early interest in weather was inspired by a local instrument-maker and meteorologist. He began keeping a meteorological diary in 1787, and this 1793 book is one of his earliest publications. It contains not only meteorological observations but also speculations about their causes. Beginning with a description of the instruments needed to undertake such investigations, Dalton considers a variety of natural phenomena, finishing by offering various theories on the causes of the Aurora Borealis.
Meteorological Observations and Essays also contains many of the ideas that would go on to be developed in his future research and publications, for which he is better known.
1. Of the barometer
2. Of the thermometer
3. Of the hygrometer
4. Of rain-gauges
5. Observations on the height of the clouds
6. Account of thunder-storms and height of the clouds
7. Observations on the winds at Kendal and Keswick, for five years
8. Account of the first and last appearance of snow each winter
9. Account of bottom-winds on Derwent lake
10. Account of the Aurorae Boreales seen at Kendal and Keswick for five years
11. On magnetism, and the variation of the needle
Addenda to the observations on the Aurorae Boreales
1. On the atmosphere, its constitution, figure, height, etc.
2. On winds
3. On the variations of the barometer
4. On the relation between heat and other bodies
5. On the temperature of different climates and seasons
6. On evaporation rain, hail, snow, and dew
7. On the relation between the barometer and rain
8. On the Aurora Borealis
General rules for judging of the weather
Appendix, containing additional notes on different parts of the work