William Perkin

William Perkin

William Perkin

Birth : (1838-03-12)12 March 1838 London, England

Death : 14 July 1907(1907-07-14)(aged 69) London, England

Personal Information

Name William Perkin
Birth (1838-03-12)12 March 1838 London, England
Birth Place London, England
Death (1907-07-14)(aged 69) London, England
Died At London, England
Nationality British
Fields Chemistry
Famous Research Anilinedye,mauveine,Perkin triangle

Word Cloud

Events Occured in Scienctist Life


Sir William Henry Perkin, (12 March 1838 – 14 July 1907) was a British chemist and entrepreneur best known for his serendipitous discovery of the first synthetic organic dye, mauveine, made from aniline.


In 1853, at the age of 15, Perkin entered the Royal College of Chemistry in London (now part of Imperial College London), where he began his studies under August Wilhelm von Hofmann.


During the Easter vacation in 1856, Perkin performed some further experiments in the crude laboratory in his apartment on the top floor of his home in Cable Street in east London.


Perkin filed for a patent in August 1856, when he was still only 18.


This discovery was the subject of a question on the 2012 season of the BBC quiz show Eggheads.


The Travel Channel featured the Perkin discovery on the 24 January 2013 (S4.E8) show of Mysteries at the Museum.


In 1869, Perkin found a method for the commercial production from anthracene of the brilliant red dye alizarin, which had been isolated and identified from madder root some forty years earlier in 1826 by the French chemist Pierre Robiquet, simultaneously with purpurin, another red dye of lesser industrial interest, but the German chemical company BASF patented the same process one day before he did.


By the 1890s, Germany had a near-monopoly on the business and Perkin was compelled to sell off his holdings and retire.


Death Perkin died in 1907 of pneumonia and other complications resulting from a burst appendix.


His will was proved on 28 August 1907 at £86,231 4s.


Family Perkin married Jemima Harriet, the daughter of John Lissett, in 1859, which resulted in two sons, (William Henry Perkin Jr. and Arthur George Perkin).


In June 1866, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.


In 1879, received their Royal Medal and, in 1889, their Davy Medal.


He was knighted in 1906, and in the same year was awarded the first Perkin Medal, established to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of his discovery of mauveine.


On 12 March 2018, search engine Google showed a Google Doodle to mark Perkin's 180th Birthday.


In 2013, the William Perkin Church of England High School opened in Greenford, Middlesex.


Since 2007, when Imperial College London gained its own Royal Charter, the Academic dress of Imperial College London features purple across the range of garments to celebrate the work of Perkin.


In 2015, President of the College, Professor Alice Gast, stated that: "The colour purple symbolises the spirit of endeavour and discovery, and the risk-taking nature that characterises those with an Imperial education and training."


How One Man Invented a Colour that Changed the World, ISBN 0-393-02005-3 (2000).