William Henry Perkin
Perkin, William Henry
(the Elder). Born Mar. 12, 1838, in London; died July 14, 1907, in Sudbury, Middlesex. English organic chemist. From 1853 a student of A. von Hof-mann at the Royal College of Chemistry in London; later became Hofmann’s assistant. President of the Chemical Society in 1884–85.
In 1856, Perkin obtained the purple dye mauve, one of the first synthetic organic dyes; he set up a factory for its commercial production. In 1868 he discovered a method for preparing aromatic unsaturated (β-arylacrylic) acids. Perkin also studied the relationship between the structure of a compound and the rotation of the plane of polarization of light in a magnetic field.