Joseph Priestley

1733 (Birstall, England) – 1804 (Northumberland, Pa.)

Josiah Wedgwood funded Priestley’s experiments and was a fellow-member of the Lunar Society, as were Boulton, Watt, Darwin and Keir (who helped him with experiments). Wilkinson was his wife’s brother, Hill helped run his Sunday school, Price preceded him in his Hackney ministry, and Banks offered to get him on one of Cook’s voyages. He met and corresponded with Lavoisier, who took all the credit for the discovery of oxygen. Blake knew him through Johnson. Silliman was impressed by his discovery of soda water, Jefferson sought his curricular advice, and Franklin (a Lunar Society guest) called him an “honest heretic.”