Perkin, William Henry (Sir) (1838-1907)
Perkin, William Henry (Sir)
Born: London (England), 1838
Died Sudbury (England), 1907
Perkin studied under Hofmann, for whom he became an assistant in 1855. After the accidental discovery of mauveine at the age of eighteen, Perkin started to build a dye factory. He stimulated the development of synthetic dyes. In 1874 he sold his factory and returned to research. He synthesised coumarin, which marked the start of the synthetic perfume industry.
Whilst the origin of the modern industrial revolution is often traced to the Ironbridge Gorge northwest of Birmingham in the UK, less credit is given to the birthplace of the modern chemical industry.