HE LAID THE FOUNDATION FOR THE SYNTHEIC ORGANIC CHEMICALS INDUSTRY AND, IN SO DOING, HELPED TO REVOLUTIONIZE THE WORLD OF FASHION AND HERE HIS HANDWRITTEN QUOTE SUMMARIZES HIS SUCCESS: “DEEDS NOT WORDS”
SIR WILLIAM HENRY PERKIN (1838-1907) SIGNED QUOTE, “W. H. Perkin”, on a card 3.5 x 2.25, by the British chemist and entrepreneur who is best known for his accidental discovery of the first synthetic organic dye, mauveine (also known as aniline purple or Perkin’s mauve), made from aniline. He became successful in the field of dyes after his first discovery at age 18. His early experiments with the dye indicated it was color fast (stable) when washed or exposed to light and could be produced at a much lower cost that the then expensive and labor-intensive natural substances in use, many of which lacked stability or fastness. He patented the dye and luck was with him when public demand increased when a similar color was adopted by Queen Victoria in Britain and Empress Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III, in France, and when the crinoline or hooped-skirts, whose manufacture used a large quantity of cloth, became fashionable. He became rich and continued research in organic chemistry for the rest of his life: he discovered and marketed other synthetic dyes; he discovered ways to make coumarin, one of the first synthetic raw materials of perfume. Today the Perkin Medal is recognized as the highest honor in U. S. Industrial Chemistry. His handwritten quote, in full: “Deeds not words”. The card is in fine condition, with minor age toning.