Strata Smith advanced geology the hard way
1769 William Smith ('Strata' Smith; d. August 28, 1839), English geologist/cartographer who created the first nationwide geologic map.
Although not born in a prominent family (in fact, he came from the wrong side of the tracks according to the social stratification of the day), Smith taught himself the fundamentals of geology. As revealed in Simon Winchester's book, The Map That Changed the World: A biography of William Smith, a respectable scientist of his day appropriated his map as his own.
Smith was for a time poverty stricken, serving time in from King's Bench Prison in London, a debtor's prison. He returned to his home of fourteen years at 15 Buckingham Street to find a bailiff at the door and his home and property seized ...
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