A view of the Perkin & Sons dyestuff factory, posibly taken by Sir William Henry Perkin (1838-1907) himself, from a collection of 19 photographs relating to Perkin, his family and the synthetic dyestuffs industry. In 1856, whilst attempting to synthesise quinine for the treatment of malaria, 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.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library