Exterior of Sir William Henry Perkin's house at Sudbury, Middlesex, c 1906
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
The exterior of Perkin's house 'The Chestnuts', (now demolished), posibly taken around the time of the mauve jubilee celebrations in 1906 and posibly by Perkin himself. Photograph from a collection relating to Sir William Henry Perkin (1838-1907), his relations, and the synthetic dyestuffs industry. In 1856, whilst attempting to synthesise quinine for the treatment of malaria, Perkin (1838-1907) managed to extract a brilliant purple dye, subsequently named mauveine. His manufacture of this and other aniline dyes was a great commercial succes and he went on to create the modern synthetic dyestuffs industry and introduce a new range of colours into human life. He was elected to the Royal Society in 1866 and knighted in 1906.