Thomas Dix Perkin, brother of Sir William Henry Perkin, 1867.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Thomas Dix Perkin, the elder brother of William Henry Perkin and was a partner in the dyestuff firm of Perkin & Sons set up by their father in 1857. 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, 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. He was elected to the Royal Society in 1866 and knighted in 1906.