Arthur George Perkin, English chemist and son of Sir William Henry Perkin, c 1920.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Photograph of Arthur George Perkin (1861-1937) from a collection of 19 photographs relating to Sir William Henry Perkin (1838-1907), his relations, and the synthetic dyestuffs industry. Arthur was the only one of Perkin's three sons who took up dye chemistry, although they all became eniment chemists. He was Profesor of Colour Chemistry and Dyeing at Leeds University (1913-1926). In 1856, whilst attempting to synthesise quinine for the treatment of malaria, William Henry Perkin 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.