ACS Present Department with John William Draper medal

4 September 2012

John William Draper medal

John William Draper – When the College opened in 1828, the Professor of Chemistry who was appointed was Edward Turner. One of his students was John William Draper who later emigrated to the United States and became professor of chemistry at New York University. He had a distinguished career, particularly in the new field of photography. He was the first to photograph the moon (1840) and the Great Orion Galaxy (1880), and he is known as the first astrophotographer.

In 1876, Draper was the Founding President of the American Chemical Society; this happens to be the same year as our Chemical and Physical Society was founded. To commemorate the 125th anniversary of their founding, and as part of their National Historic Chemical Landmarks programme, the ACS struck a medal carrying Draper's image, and they have presented one to this department.