William Smith

William Smith

Dr. William Smith [ˈwɪlɪəmˈsmɪθ] (* 23. March 1769 in Churchill, Oxfordshire; † 28. August 1839 in Northampton) was an English engineer, who received 1831 for its achievements in the field of geology as a first person the Wollaston medal.

It was noticeable to it with the building of a channel that certain fossils in each case in certain layers, which to horizons, was to be found. With this realization it and other geologists could far from each other remove deleting rock formations due to similar characteristics to correlate, i.e. to arrange it on the geological time board stratigraphisch into the same stage. This led to its pointed name layer Smith.

Based on it Leopold of book and others could formulate the guidance fossil principle.

Its largest work was geological mapping of Great Britain, which was published 1815. 1799 it already published a map of the environment of Bath.


  • Simon Winchester: A map changes the world: William Smith and the birth of modern geology. btb paperback, 2003, ISBN 3-442-73089-9 (English ones. Orig.: The map That Changed the World, 2001 ISBN 0-7524-1992-7)

Web on the left of


  > German to English > de.wikipedia.org (Machine translated into English)