Adam Sedgwick, English geologist, c 1860.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Carte de visite photograph by the Stereoscopic Company of Adam Sedgwick (1785-1873). Born in Dent, Yorkshire, Sedgwick studied mathematics at Cambridge University, and later became Woodwardian Profesor of Geology there in 1818. He was a popular speaker and one of the first to break with tradition and open his lectures to women. In 1829 he became President of the Geological Society of London. In 1835 on one of his many field researches, he calculated the stratigraphic succesion of fosil-bearing rocks in North Wales, naming the oldest of them 'the Cambrian period'. He also identified the Devonian system in South West England in 1839. His best known work was on 'British Palaeozoic Fosils' (1854).