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.