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aammar 16-09-2012 06:22 AM

John William Draper
 
John William Draper (05-05-1811 - 04-01-1882)
He was an American (English-born) scientist, philosopher, physician, chemist, historian and photographer. He was credited with producing the first clear photo of a female face (1839–1840) and the first detailed photo of the moon (1840). He was also the first president of the American Chemical Society (1876–1877) and a founder of the New York University School of Medicine. One of Draper's books, History of the Conflict between Religion and Science, received worldwide recognition and was translated into several languages but banned by the Catholic Church. In 1837, he took an appointment at New York University and was elected a professor of chemistry and botany the following year. He was a professor in its school of medicine from 1840-1850, president of that school from 1850-1873 and professor of chemistry until 1881.
Draper conducted important research in photochemistry, made portrait photography possible by his improvements (1839) on Louis Daguerre's process and published a textbook on Chemistry (1846), one on Natural Philosophy (1847), another on Physiology (1866) and Scientific Memoirs (1878) on radiant energy.
In 1839–1840, Draper produced clear photos which, at that time, were regarded as the first live photos of a human face but were more likely the first clear photos of a female face. Draper took a series of pictures, with 65-second exposure by sunlight and the first ones were of his female assistant. Her face was covered with a thin layer of flour to increase contrast and these photos were not preserved. In 1840, Draper became the first person to produce photos of an astronomical object, the moon, and they were considered the first astrophotographs. In 1843, he made daguerreotypes which showed new features of the moon in the visible spectrum. In 1850, he made photo-micrographs and engaged his then teenage son, Henry, into their production.
Draper developed the proposition in 1842 that only light rays, which are absorbed, can produce chemical change. It came to be known as the Grotthuss–Draper law when his name was teamed with a prior but apparently unknown promulgator, Theodor Grotthuss, of the same idea in 1817.
In 1847, he published the observation that all solids glow red at about the same temperature, about 977˚F (798 K), which came to be known as the Draper point.
On Saturday, 30th May 1860, the Oxford evolution debate featured Draper's lecture on his paper "On the Intellectual Development of Europe, considered with reference to the views of Mr. Darwin and others, that the progression of organisms is determined by law."
As for his contributions to the discipline of history, Draper is well known as the author of The History of the Intellectual Development of Europe (1862), applying the methods of physical science to history; A History of the American Civil War (3 vols., 1867–1870); and A History of the Conflict between Religion and Science (1874). The last book is among the most influential works on the conflict thesis, which takes its name from Draper's title.
The greatest influence
“A.D. 569, was born in Makkah, in Arabia, the man who, of all birth of men, has exercised the greatest influence upon the human race — Mohammed.”[1]


[1]John William Draper, The History of the Intellectual Development of Europe, 329.


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