William Draper was a U.S. (English-born) chemist, historian and
photographer. He served as the first president of American Chemical
Society between 1876 and 1877. He was the father of Henry Draper.
studied at Woodhouse Grove, at the University of London, and,
after removing to America in 1832, at the medical school of the
University of Pennsylvania from 1835 to 1836. In 1837 he was elected
professor of chemistry in the University of the City of New York,
and was a professor in its school of medicine from 1840 to 1850,
president of that school from 1850 to 1873, and professor of chemistry
did important research in photochemistry, made portrait photography
possible by his improvements (1839) on Daguerre's process, and
published a textbook on Chemistry (1846), textbook on Natural
Philosophy (1847), textbook on Physiology (1866), and Scientific
Memoirs (1878) on radiant energy. He was also the first person
to take an astrophotograph; he took a photo of the Moon in 1840.
to the discipline of history: He is well known also as the author
of The History of the Intellectual Development of Europe (1862),
applying the methods of physical science to history, a History
of the American Civil War (3 vols., 1867-1870), and a History
of the Conflict between Religion and Science (1874). The last
book listed is among the most influential works on the conflict
thesis, which takes its name from Draper's title.