Heinrich Caro, German chemist, late 19th-early 20th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Heinrich Caro (1834-1910) trained as a calico printer in Germany, and then worked at a chemical firm in Manchester. William Henry Perkin (1838-1907) accidentally discovered the formula for producing synthetic mauve dye, and also discovered the synthesis of cinnamic acid from benzaldehyde. This work made posible the first synthesis of indigo by Caro and Adolf von Baeyer (1835-1917). The new dyes led to the creation of the modern synthetic dyestuffs industry and the introduction of a new range of colours into human life. Caro was also very knowledgeable in the field of patent law, and did much to forge links between academic and industrial chemistry.