University Chemistry ›› 2023, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (5): 315-324.doi: 10.3866/PKU.DXHX202207124

• Chemistry History • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The Pioneer of Fine Chemical Industry: Sir William Henry Perkin and Synthetic Dyes

Xu Chen1, Liejin Zhou2, Limin Wang1, Jianwei Han1,*()   

  1. 1 Department of Fine Chemistry and Institute of Fine Chemicals, School of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237, China
    2 College of Chemistry and Life Sciences, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua 321004, Zhejiang Province, China
  • Received:2022-07-26 Accepted:2022-09-09 Published:2022-09-23
  • Contact: Jianwei Han


Sir William Henry Perkin was a famous organic chemist and pioneer in industrial organic synthesis. The story of his life, personal qualities, and achievements have bequeathed a legacy to future generations. Although there are English biographies about Perkin, the information in Chinese literature is relatively limited. This paper describes the background, scientific contributions, and influence of Perkin based on the relevant literature to inspire teachers in chemistry education and encourage personal development.

Key words: Synthetic dyes, William Henry Perkin, Fine chemistry, Mauveine