John Dalton was born into a Quaker family in the Lake District, in England. He soon attracted attention because of his enormous eagerness to learn and his enthusiasm for natural scientific phenomena. At the age of 12, he was already teaching, first at his own school and, a few years later, at a larger school in nearby Kendal. At the same time, he was being tutored in classical languages and mathematics by two local scholars, Elihu Robinson and John Gough. Both were amateur meteorologists and Dalton was soon infected with their enthusiasm for everything to do with the weather. In 1787, he started keeping a meteorological journal, which he kept up until he died. The journal eventually contained some 200,000 observations.