William Smith Facts

William Smith Facts
William 'Strata' Smith (March 23, 1769 to August 28, 1839) was an English geologist. He is known as the "Father of English Geology" for his work on the geological history of England and Wales.
Interesting William Smith Facts:
William Smith was born in Churchill, England, in Oxfordshire.
When he was eighteen, Smith became an assistant for the surveyor, Edward Webb.
From 1791 to 1799 he worked in Somerset.
He first did work for Webb and later for the Somersetshire Coal Canal.
While living at Rugborne Farm in High Littleton, he talked to many of the local miners about the history of mines in the area.
Smith worked at the Mearns Pit which was part of the Somerset Coal Canal.
He recognized that the pattern of strata was predictable.
He realized that the fossils contained in the strata could be used to identify it.
Smith learned that the particular strata arrangement was repeated in many places in England.
His observations led him to hypothesize the Principle of Faunal Succession which states that sedimentary rock layers contain fossils and that these fossils succeed each other vertically in a reliable order over wide horizontal distances.
Smith began to travel the country to determine if the strata were consistent throughout England.
His drawings earned him the sobriquet, Strata Smith.
He collected a large and valuable collections of fossils from canals, road and railway cuts.
His published illustrations made it possible for other searchers to test his theory.
His collection included many Jurassic fossils.
In 1799 he drew the first geologic map of Bath.
In 1801 he produced "The Map that Changed the World," which inspired a book by the same name.
Smith's work as a mineral surveyor took him to most of Britain.
In 1815 he published the first geological map of England, Wales and parts of Scotland.
His map marked canals, tunnels, railways, roads, mines and salt and alum works.
His books include Delineation of the Strata of England, published in 1815 and Strata Identified by Organized Fossils published in 1819.
In February 1831 he received the Wollaston Medal from the Geological Society of London.
In 1835 he received an honorary LL.D. from Trinity College.
In 1838 he was on the commission to select the stone for the Palace of Westminster.


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