Sir William Henry Perkin, English chemist, c 1906.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 21cm x 32cm

Sir William Henry Perkin, English chemist, c 1906.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Photograph of Sir William Henry Perkin, signed 'Yours sincerely, W H Perkin, probably taken in 1906, from a collection of 19 photographs 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.

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