February 07, 2023

William Henry Perkin Biography, Age, Death, Wife, Children, Family, Wiki & More

Updated On : March 12, 2019

Short Biography

William Henry Perkin was born on 12-03-1838 in London in the state of England, United Kingdom. He was a British Chemist, Entrepreneur & Inventor.

Other Name: Sir William Henry Perkin
Other Professions: Entrepreneur Inventor

William Henry Perkin Complete Bio & Career

Sir William Henry Perkin was a famous British chemist and a successful entrepreneur. He went to  the City of London School for his schooling. His teacher Thomas Hall identified his scientific talent and encouraged him to go for chemistry for his career. He attended Royal College of Chemistry, London at the age of 15.He started his study on August Wilhelm von Hofmann. The chemistry was not that advanced that time and was quite primitive. It was difficult to determine the arrangement of any compound's elements. He became assistant to Hoffman and helped him carrying few of the experiments for finding out the treatment of Malaria with quinine.
In absence of Hoffman, he continued with the experiments and accidentally discovered that intense purple color substance can be produced by extracting crude mixture partially transformed from aniline using alcohol. Since he was interested in photography and painting, he dug it further with the help of his brother Thomas and his friend Arthur Church. The Trio called this dye as ‘mauveine’ and decided to start producing it for commercial use. He requested a patent for it after receiving a promising reply from a company General Manager Robert Pullar.
His discovery was at the time when England was into a phase of Industrial Revolution and most of the raw material he needed for his product was readily available. He did find difficulties like capital, cost reduction, receiving acceptance etc. He asked his father for the capital and involved his brothers as the partners. The public demand for the dye was increased. After it, many aniline dyes were discovered. He continued research in organic chemistry throughout his life. He discovered many other synthetic dyes such as Perkin's Green and Britannia Violet. One of the first synthetic perfume raw materials, coumarin was discovered by him. He found the way of producing a red dye alizarin from anthracene.
He was honored with many prestigious awards for his contribution towards chemistry. He was selected as a Fellow of the Royal Society and even received a Royal Medal and a Davy Medal from them. He was Leathersellers’ Company’s Liveryman for 46 years and then was selected as a Master of the Company. There is a school named after him as ‘William Perkin Church of England High School’ in Greenford, Middlesex.

Health Issues, Illness and Death Info

He died on 14-07-1907 in London, England, the United Kingdom at the age of 69.

DEATHDAY 14 July,1907 (Friday)
DEATH PLACE London, England
DEATH COUNTRY United Kingdom

William Henry Perkin Family, Relatives and Other Relations

He was born to a carpenter George Perkin and Sarah. He married Jemima Harriet in 1859.John Lissett was his father in law. The couple was blessed with 2 sons namely Arthur George Perkin and William Henry Perkin Jr. He married Helman Mollwo’s daughter Alexandrine Caroline in 1866 and he had 4 children from that relationship including 4 daughters and a son. All of his three sons from both marriages including William Henry Perkin Jr and Arthur George Perkin became chemists.

Life's Important Dates Of William Henry Perkin

Body Measurements

Skin Colour White
Eye Colour Brown
Hair Colour White

Personal Info

Home Town London
Nationality British
Religion Christian
Address London, England, UK
School City Of london School, London
College Imperial College London, London
Royal College Of Chemistry, London
Qualification Graduate
Hobbies Reading and Writing
Marital Status Married

Shocking / Interesting Facts & Secrets About William Henry Perkin

  • The first Aniline Dye, the Purple Mauveine was discovered by him accidentally while fining out a potential treatment for Malaria.
  • Queen Victoria wore mauve color to a royal wedding which helped in sales of the dye color. He was able to build a successful factory due to that.
  • Google honored him with a doodle on his 180th birth anniversary.

William Henry Perkin Age, Birthday Facts and Birthday Countdown

William Henry Perkin was 69 years 4 months & 2 days old age.