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Priestley, Joseph (1733-1804)
Born: Fieldhead (England), 1733
Died: Northumberland (USA, Pennsylvania), 1804
Priestley was a Unitarian minister and he never studied science formally. Under the influence of Benjamin Franklin, Priestley carried out research on electricity (1769). In 1772 he isolated a number of gases, such as nitrous oxide and in 1774 he isolated a new gas "dephlogisticated air" (oxygen) and studied the properties of this new gas. Priestley also recognized the fact that plants were influenced by light (photosynthesis).
From a Joseph Priestley, Experiments and Observations on Different Kinds of Air. 2nd ed. 1776 Vol 2, sec 3 [the Discovery of Oxygen]:
Joseph Priestley, best known for his work as a chemist and for his discovery of oxygen, was born on March 13, 1773.