On this day in Alabama history: First state geologist Michael Tuomey was born in Ireland

On this day in Alabama history: First state geologist Michael Tuomey was born in Ireland
Michael Tuomey (1805-1857) was a pioneer in the field of geology in the South in the early to mid-nineteenth century. He was the first state geologist of Alabama and was hired by University of Alabama President Basil Manly in 1847 as a professor of sciences. Tuomey published the first geologic map of Alabama and conducted the state's first geological survey. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, Courtesy of University of Alabama W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library)

September 29, 1805

Geologist Michael Tuomey was born in Ireland. Tuomey came to Alabama in 1846 after accepting a faculty position in the fields of geology, mineralogy and agricultural chemistry at the University of Alabama. In 1848, he became Alabama’s first state geologist and oversaw the creation of the Geological Survey of Alabama, which continues to conduct research on the state’s natural resources. Tuomey’s geological findings helped define the extent of Alabama’s mineral resources and eventually led to the rise of Birmingham as an industrial center. Many of his specimens were housed at the Alabama Museum of Natural History, but most were destroyed when Union troops set fire to the university during the Civil War.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

 

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