Perkin, William Henry

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.

REFERENCE

Meldola, R. “W. H. Perkin.” Journal of the Chemical Society, 1908, vols. 93–94, no. 554, PP. 2214–57.

Perkin, William Henry

 

(the Younger). Born June 17, 1860, in Sudbury, Middlesex; died Sept. 17, 1929, in Oxford. English organic chemist. Son of W. H. Perkin the Elder.

Perkin studied at the Royal College of Chemistry in South Kensington from 1877 to 1880 and then in Germany under J. Wislicenus in 1880 and A. von Baeyer in 1882. He was a university professor in Edinburgh from 1887, in Manchester from 1892, and at Oxford from 1912. He developed a method of synthesizing polymethylene compounds based on acetoacetic, benzoylacetic, and malonic esters. His work on the synthesis and study of alicyclic compounds provided Baeyer with a basis for formulating the “stress theory” of cyclic systems. Perkin also studied terpenes, alkaloids, hematoxylin, and brazilin.

REFERENCE

Greenway, A. J., J. F. Thorpe, and R. Robinson. “The Life and Work of Prof. W. H. Perkin.” Journal of the Chemical Society, 1932. (Special number.)
Mentioned in ?