Joseph Priestley

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by allisonwaites
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Joseph Priestley

Birth and DeathJoseph Priestley was born on March 13, 1733 in Birstall Fieldhead, Engand and died on February 6, 1804 in Northumberland, Pennsylvania. He lived to be 71 years old.


Joseph Priestley discovers oxygen

FamilyHis family were successful wool-cloth makers.In 1762, he married Mary Wilkinson.Together, they had one daughter and three sons.

AccomplishmentsBefore Prestley's work, scientists thought the atmosphere was made of carbon dioxide and hydrogen. But he discovered there were also nitrogen, hydrogen chloride, carbon monoxide, and nitrous oxide.

AccomplishmentsPriestly wrote several essays on his views of religion, philosophy, and politics.Between the years of 1772 and 1790, he published a total of six volumes called "Experiments and Observations on Different Kinds of Air" and many articles in the Royal Society’s "Philosophical Transactions" describing his experiments on gases which he called "airs".

AccomplishmentsJoseph Priestley is most noted for the discovery of oxygen.He also created carbonated (or soda) water.

He was an English clergyman, political theorist, and physical scientist. He is best known for his work with the chemical makeup of gases.

EducationHe attended Dissenting Academy at Daventry in 1752 where he received his education in philosophy, science, languages, and literature.He later tutored at Warrington Academy in 1761.

Joseph Priestley

General Facts

His death was mourned by Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States.He learned more than 6 different languages including Hebrew, Latin, and Greek.He was friends with Benjamin Franklin and talked with him about his theories of electricity.


On July 14, the "Church and King" mob destroyed his house and laboratory causing him to flee to the United States in search of a more tolerant government.

Because of his beliefs on the role of government and religion, the English press and goverment said his work was "seditious," which means inciting or causing people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch.


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