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John Frederic Daniell

John Frederic Daniell
Born 12 March 1790
London, England
Died 13 March 1845
Nationality English
Fields Chemistry
Institutions King's College London
Alma mater University of Oxford (Doctor of Civil Law, 1842)
Notable awards Rumford Medal (1832)
Copley Medal (1837)
Royal Medal (1842)

John Frederic Daniell (12 March 1790 – 13 March 1845) was an English chemist and physicist.


  • Biography 1
  • Publications 2
  • Lectures 3
  • Death and commemoration 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6


Daniell was born in London. In 1831 he became the first professor of chemistry at the newly founded King's College London; and in 1835 he was appointed to the equivalent post at the East India Company's Military Seminary at Addiscombe, Surrey.[1] His name is best known for his invention of the Daniell cell,[2] an element of an electric battery much better than voltaic cells. He also invented the dew-point hygrometer known by his name (Quar. Journ. Sci., 1820), and a register pyrometer (Phil. Trans., 1830); and in 1830 he erected in the hall of the Royal Society a water-barometer, with which he carried out a large number of observations.[3] A process devised by him for the manufacture of illuminating gas from turpentine and resin was in use in New York for a time.

In 1842 he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Civil Law by the University of Oxford.[1]


Daniell's publications included Meteorological Essays (1823), an Essay on Artificial Climate considered in its Applications to Horticulture (1824), which showed the necessity of a humid atmosphere in hothouses devoted to tropical plants, and an Introduction to the Study of Chemical Philosophy (1839).


In 1840 he was invited to deliver the Royal Institution Christmas Lecture on The First Principles of Franklinic Electricity.

Death and commemoration

Daniell died suddenly of apoplexy in London in March 1845, while attending a meeting of the council of the Royal Society, of which he had become a fellow in 1813 and Foreign Secretary in 1839.

The lunar crater Daniell is named in his honour.

See also


  1. ^ a b Vibart, H.M. (1894). Addiscombe: its heroes and men of note. Westminster: Archibald Constable. p. 133. 
  2. ^ Philosophical Transactions, 1836.
  3. ^ Philosophical Transactions, 1832.


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