Raphael Meldola FRS was a British chemist and entomologist. He was Professor of Organic Chemistry in the University of London, 1912–15. Born in Islington, London, he was descended from Raphael Meldola, a theologian, acting minister of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews in London, 1804. Meldola was the only son of Samuel Meldola, he was educated in chemistry at the Royal College of London. There is a portrait of Meldola by Solomon J. Solomon in the Royal Society collection. Meldola worked in the private laboratory of John Stenhouse, he was assisted Norman Lockyer with spectroscopy. Meldola was in charge of the British Eclipse Expedition to the Nicobar Islands and was Professor of Chemistry, Technical College, Finsbury, he was an entomologist and natural historian. Meldola was a member of many scientific societies: Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1886, awarded the Davy Medal in 1913, was Vice-President of the Council from 1914–1915. Meldola was President of the Entomological Society, 1895–1897.
He was the first president of the Maccabaeans, 1891–1915. In his honour the Royal Society of Chemistry award the Meldola medal each year. Meldolda was a keen naturalist, spending five years eagerly collecting evidence on mimicry in butterflies, inspired by Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, his work provided evidence for natural selection, acknowledged by the evolutionary zoologist Edward Bagnall Poulton in his book The Colours of Animals and thanked by Darwin for information on hexadactyly. He discovered the synthetic dye Meldola's Blue. Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Meldola, Raphael". Encyclopædia Britannica. London & New York. Works by Raphael Meldola at Project Gutenberg Works by or about Raphael Meldola at Internet Archive
William Henry Perkin Jr.
For the earlier William Henry Perkin, the father of this William Henry Perkin, see Sir William Henry PerkinWilliam Henry Perkin Jr. FRS HFRSE was an English organic chemist, known for his groundbreaking research work on the degradation of occurring organic compounds, he was the eldest son of Sir William Henry Perkin who had founded the aniline dye industry, was born at Sudbury, close to his father's dyeworks at Greenford. His brother was Arthur George Perkin, Professor of Colour Chemistry and Dyeing at the University of Leeds. Perkin was educated at the City of London School and at the Royal College of Science, South Kensington, in Germany at the universities of Würzburg and Munich. At Munich, he was a doctoral student under Adolf von Baeyer. From 1883 to 1886, he held the position of Privatdozent at the University of Munich, he never lost contact with his friend Baeyer, delivered the memorial lecture following Baeyer's death in 1917. In 1887 he returned to Britain and became professor of chemistry at Heriot-Watt College, Scotland, for which the Chemistry wing of the main campus is named The William Perkin Building.
In 1892 he accepted the chair of organic chemistry at Owens College, England, succeeding Carl Schorlemmer, which he held until 1912. During this period his stimulating teaching and brilliant researches attracted students from all parts, he formed at Manchester a school of organic chemistry famous throughout Europe; this was possible because he was assigned new laboratory buildings, which he planned together with the famous architect Alfred Waterhouse, similar to those built by Baeyer in Munich. The speech at the opening ceremony was given by Ludwig Mond. An additional laboratory building together with a library and £20,300, was a donation of the chemist and industrialist Edward Schunck in 1895, his laboratory was recreated at Owens College. Frank Lee Pyman, Robert Robinson, Walter Haworth and Eduard Hope graduated at Owens College while Perkin was there; the conflict with Chaim Weizmann, who held a postdoctoral position and was a friend of Perkin, over the fermentation of starch to isoamyl alcohol, the starting material for synthetic rubber and therefore industrially relevant, led to the dismissal of Weizmann.
In 1912, following a planned change in University politics involving industrial co-operations, which would have resulted in a significant loss of income for Perkin, he accepted a position in Oxford. In 1912 he succeeded Professor William Odling as Waynflete Professor of Chemistry at Oxford University, England, a position he held until 1929; when he started five colleges had their own laboratories. He first had to move into the Odling laboratory, a replica of the mediaeval Abbot's Kitchen at Glastonbury. During Perkin's time there and more extensive laboratories were built, for the first time in England a period of research became a necessary part of the academic course in chemistry for an honours degree, but the constant rivalry with the physical chemistry department, for example Frederick Soddy, lead to the situation that most of the graduates chose physical or inorganic chemistry as their subject, Perkin got most of his postdoctoral employees from other universities. Perkin's work was published in a series of papers in Transactions of the Chemical Society.
The earlier papers dealt with the properties and modes of synthesis of cloud chain hydrocarbons and their derivatives. This work led to the synthesis of many terpenes and members of the camphor group. In addition to purely scientific work, Perkin kept in close touch with the chemical industry. Together with his brother-in-law Professor Frederick Kipping, Perkin wrote textbooks on practical chemistry and organic chemistry. Perkin was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in June 1890 and was awarded their Davy Medal in 1904 and their Royal Medal in 1925, he was president of the Chemical Society from 1913 to 1916 and was awarded their Longstaff Medal in 1900. In 1910, he was made an honorary graduate of the University of Edinburgh, receiving the degree of Doctor of Laws. In 1887 he married Mina one of three sisters, they had no children. Both of his brothers-in-law were eminent scientists themselves, he died in Oxford on 17 September 1929. Jack Morrell. "W. H. Perkin Jr. at Manchester and Oxford: From Irwell to Isis".
Osiris 2nd Series. 8: 104–126. JSTOR 301697. Tenney L. Davis. "The Life and Work of Professor William Henry Perkin Jr". Osiris 2nd Series. 19: 207–208. JSTOR 225197. William Henry Perkin Jr.. "First Pedler lecture. The early history of the synthesis of closed carbon chains". J. Chem. Soc.: 1347–1364. Doi:10.1039/JR9290001347. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Perkin, William Henry". Encyclopædia Britannica. 32. London & New York. P. 56
Christopher Kelk Ingold
Sir Christopher Kelk Ingold was a British chemist based in Leeds and London. His groundbreaking work in the 1920s and 1930s on reaction mechanisms and the electronic structure of organic compounds was responsible for the introduction into mainstream chemistry of concepts such as nucleophile, electrophile and resonance effects, such descriptors as SN1, SN2, E1, E2, he was a co-author of the Cahn–Ingold–Prelog priority rules. Ingold is regarded as one of the chief pioneers of physical organic chemistry. Born in London to a silk merchant who died of tuberculosis when Ingold was five years old, Ingold began his scientific studies at Hartley University College at Southampton taking an external BSc in 1913 with the University of London, he joined the laboratory of Jocelyn Field Thorpe at Imperial College, with a brief hiatus from 1918-1920 during which he conducted research into chemical warfare and the manufacture of poison gas with Cassel Chemical at Glasgow. He earned an MSc degree from the University of London, returned to Imperial College in 1920 for work with Thorpe.
He was awarded a PhD in 1918 and a DSc in 1921. Ingold married Dr. Hilda Usherwood, a fellow chemist with whom he collaborated, in 1923, they had the chemist Keith Ingold. In 1924, Ingold moved to the University of Leeds, where he spent six years as professor of organic chemistry, he returned to London in 1930, served for 24 years as head of the chemistry department at University College London, from 1937 until his retirement in 1961. During his study of alkyl halides, Ingold found evidence for two possible reaction mechanisms for nucleophilic substitution reactions, he found that tertiary alkyl halides underwent a two-step mechanism while primary and secondary alkyl halides underwent a one-step mechanism. This conclusion was based on the finding that reactions of tertiary alkyl halides with nucleophiles were dependent on the concentration of the alkyl halide only. Meanwhile, he discovered that primary and secondary alkyl halides, when reacting with nucleophiles, depend on both the concentration of the alkyl halide and the concentration of the nucleophile.
Starting around 1926, Ingold and Robert Robinson carried out a heated debate on the electronic theoretical approaches to organic reaction mechanisms. See, for example, the summary by Saltzman. In 1920, Ingold was awarded the British Empire Medal for his wartime research involving "great courage in carrying out work in a poisonous atmosphere, risking his life on several occasions in preventing serious accidents," though he subsequently never discussed the award or this period in his life, he received the Longstaff Medal of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 1951, the Royal Medal of the Royal Society in 1952, was knighted in 1958. The chemistry department of University College London is now housed in the Sir Christopher Ingold building, opened in 1969. Ingold co-authored 443 papers. Dr. Malmberg's class: K. P. Leffek, Kenneth T.. Sir Christopher Ingold: A Major Prophet of Organic Chemistry. Nova Lion Press. ISBN 0-9680674-0-9. Review of Leffek's book by John D. Roberts Ridd, John. "Organic Pioneer". Chemistry World.
5: 50–53. Biography at Michigan State University Biography and history at University College London
Robert Warington FRS was an English chemist considered the driving force behind the creation of the world's first enduring chemistry society, The Chemical Society of London, which became the Royal Society of Chemistry. Born on 7 September 1807 in Sheerness, Kent, he was the third son of Thomas Warington, a ship's victualler and wine merchant, his wife Esther Elizabeth Eaton. One of his uncles was the father-in-law of Admiral William Henry Smyth. After a childhood spent in Portsmouth and other places, he entered Merchant Taylors' school in 1818 and in 1822 was articled for five years to John Thomas Cooper, a lecturer in the medical schools of Aldersgate Street and Webb Street, a manufacturer of potassium, sodium and other then-rare chemical substances. On the opening of the London University in 1828 University College, London, he was chosen by Edward Turner, the Professor of Chemistry, as his assistant along with William Gregory. In 1831 he was appointed chemist to the London brewers Truman, Hanbury & Buxton, becoming the first qualified chemist to work for a British brewery.
From 1842 until shortly before his death he was the chemical operator at the Society of Apothecaries. On 3 August 1836 at Christ Church, Spitalfields he married Elizabeth Jackson, daughter of Dr George Jackson MRCP, inventor of improvements to the microscope and they had four children, their eldest son being Robert Warington Jr. FRS, the father of Katherine Warington. Robert Warington Sr. died on 17 November 1867 at Devon. In 1831 he published his first research, on a native sulphide of bismuth. In 1839 he started a movement to found the Chemical Society of London, convening the first meeting in 1841 and serving as its first Secretary for ten years. In 1844 he began a series of investigations into the adulteration of tea, gave evidence at the parliamentary inquiry in 1855. In 1845 he was one of the founders of the Royal College of Chemistry part of Imperial College, London. In 1846 he took part in the formation of the Cavendish Society, of which he was secretary for three years, from on had many engagements as chemical expert in legal cases.
In 1851 he revised the ‘'Translation of the Pharmacopœia of the Royal College of Physicians'’ into English, left unfinished by Richard Phillips. He was engaged in the construction of the British Pharmacopoeia from 1864, was joint editor with Boverton Redwood of the second edition in 1867. In 1854 he was appointed chemical referee by four of the London coal gas suppliers, held this post for seven years. In 1864 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, the Royal Society's catalogue lists 47 papers written by him alone; the "aquarium principle" was discovered by Warington, who worked out that plants added to water in a container would give off enough oxygen to support animals, so long as their numbers do not grow too large. He published his findings in 1851 in the Quarterly Journal of the Chemical Society of London, and his work is the origin of modern aquaria. Biography at http://www.parlouraquariums.org.uk/Pioneers/Warington/warington.html
Edith Ellen Humphrey was a British inorganic chemist who carried out pioneering work in co-ordination chemistry at the University of Zurich under Alfred Werner. She is thought to be the first British woman to obtain a doctorate in chemistry. On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Royal Society of Chemistry, 8 April 1991, a sample of the original crystals synthesised by Humphrey for her PhD were sent to them by the Swiss Committee of Chemistry, together with a modern CD spectrum of a solution of one crystal; this box of crystals remains on display in the exhibition room of the RSC. Edith Humphrey was the youngest of the seven surviving children of John Charles Humphrey, a clerk at the London Metropolitan Board of Works, his wife Louisa, a teacher. John Humphrey had started life in poor circumstances, his father having been a bootmaker, he was a great supporter of education for his daughters as well as his sons. Edith grew up in a middle-class household in London, her two elder sisters became teachers, her brothers, including Herbert Alfred Humphrey, inventor of the Humphrey pump, William Humphrey, head of the Fourah Bay College in Freetown, Sierra Leone, were educated to degree level.
Humphrey attended Camden School for Girls and from 1891, North London Collegiate School, one of the first girls' schools in the UK to include science in the curriculum. From 1893 to 1897 Humphrey studied chemistry at Bedford College, with a scholarship of £60 per annum. On completion of her degree, she applied to do a PhD at the University of Zurich. On 17 October 1898, Humphrey matriculated for chemistry at the University of Zurich, she joined a growing band of Alfred Werner's students, working in the inadequate cellars known as the "Katakomben". Humphrey was awarded a grant of £60 a year for three years by the Technical Education Board of the London County Council, but studying in Switzerland was expensive, Humphrey was "hard up". Werner appointed her as his assistant, with a salary. Humphrey worked hard, her account of the time suggests that she found the social life disappointing. Humphrey was "the first of his students to succeed in preparing Werner's first new series of geometrically isomeric cobalt complexes, a class of compounds that were crucial in his development and proof of his coordination theory."
One of these compounds, the cis-bisdinitrocobalt bromide, was the first synthesis of a chiral octahedral cobalt complex. In 1991, the Swiss Committee on Chemistry donated Humphrey's chiral crystals to the Royal Society of Chemistry, they are now at Burlington House, in London."What a pity for Miss Humphrey that it was not recognized at the time, because she would have been responsible for an unequivocal proof of the soundness of Werner's coordination theory and the subsequent award of the Nobel prize to him." While one study has cast doubt on the quality of the sample, Humphrey's status as a pioneer woman scientist remains significant. Her doctoral thesis Über die Bindungsstelle der Metalle in ihren Verbindungen und über Dinitritoäthylendiaminkobaltisalze was accepted by the University of Zurich in 1901. Humphrey was the first British woman to obtain a doctorate in chemistry, though not the first in Zurich. An American chemist, Rachel Holloway Lloyd, had done so in 1887, it had become "a haven for women students from all over Europe".
On completion of her thesis, Humphrey was recommended to move to Leipzig University to continue research under Wilhelm Ostwald. However, the attitude to women there was quite different to Zurich, she would not tolerate a regime where she was not allowed to work in the laboratories in case her presence distracted the men from their work. After her return to England, Humphrey joined the staff of Arthur Sanderson & Sons, a British manufacturer of fabrics and wallpaper, where she worked until she retired, she was employed as a research chemist at their factory in Chiswick, but little is known of her work there. In the 1911 census, she was living in Hampstead with her two elder sisters, gave her profession as "chemist". In 1904, Humphrey was one of nineteen women chemists to petition the Chemical Society for admission of women to fellowship; this was granted in 1919, Humphrey was subsequently elected to fellowship. An interview with Humphrey about her experiences in Zurich was published in the New Scientist on her 100th birthday, 11 September 1975.
Rayner-Canham, Maralene. Chemistry Was Their Life: Pioneering British Women Chemists, 1880–1949. Imperial College Press. ISBN 978-1860949869
William Henry Perkin
Sir William Henry Perkin, FRS was a British chemist and entrepreneur best known for his serendipitous discovery of the first synthetic organic dye, made from aniline. Though he failed in trying to synthesise quinine for the treatment of malaria, he became successful in the field of dyes after his first discovery at the age of 18. Perkin set up a factory to produce the dye industrially. Lee Blaszczyk, professor of business history at the University of Leeds, states, "By laying the foundation for the synthetic organic chemicals industry, Perkin helped to revolutionize the world of fashion." William Perkin was born in East End of London, the youngest of the seven children of George Perkin, a successful carpenter. His mother, was of Scottish descent and moved to East London as a child, he was baptized in the Anglican parish church of St Paul's, connected to such luminaries as James Cook, Jane Randolph Jefferson and John Wesley. At the age of 14, Perkin attended the City of London School, where he was taught by Thomas Hall, who fostered his scientific talent and encouraged him to pursue a career in chemistry.
In 1853, at the age of 15, Perkin entered the Royal College of Chemistry in London, where he began his studies under August Wilhelm von Hofmann. At this time, chemistry was still primitive: although the major elements had been discovered and techniques to analyze the proportions of the elements in many compounds were in place, it was still a difficult proposition to determine the arrangement of the elements in compounds. Hofmann had published a hypothesis on how it might be possible to synthesise quinine, an expensive natural substance much in demand for the treatment of malaria. Having become one of Hofmann's assistants, Perkin embarked on a series of experiments to try to achieve this end. During Easter vacation in 1856, Perkin performed some further experiments in the crude laboratory in his apartment on the top floor of his home in Cable Street in east London, it was here that he made his great accidental discovery: that aniline could be transformed into a crude mixture which, when extracted with alcohol, produced a substance with an intense purple colour.
Perkin, who had an interest in painting and photography became enthusiastic about this result and carried out further trials with his friend Arthur Church and his brother Thomas. Since these experiments were not part of the work on quinine, assigned to Perkin, the trio carried them out in a hut in Perkin's garden to keep them secret from Hofmann, they satisfied themselves that they might be able to scale up production of the purple substance and commercialise it as a dye, which they called mauveine. Their initial experiments indicated that it dyed silk in a way, stable when washed or exposed to light, they sent some samples to a dye works in Perth and received a promising reply from the general manager of the company, Robert Pullar. Perkin filed for a patent in August 1856, when he was still only 18. At the time, all dyes used for colouring cloth were natural substances, many of which were expensive and labour-intensive to extract—and many lacked stability, or fastness; the colour purple, a mark of aristocracy and prestige since ancient times, was expensive and difficult to produce, as the dye used, known as Tyrian purple, was made from the glandular mucus of certain molluscs.
Its extraction was variable and complicated, so Perkin and his brother realised that they had discovered a possible substitute whose production could be commercially successful. Perkin could not have chosen a better time or place for his discovery: England was the cradle of the Industrial Revolution driven by advances in the production of textiles. Having invented the dye, Perkin was still faced with the problems of raising the capital for producing it, manufacturing it cheaply, adapting it for use in dyeing cotton, gaining acceptance for it among commercial dyers, creating public demand for it, he was active in all of these areas: he persuaded his father to put up the capital, his brothers to partner with him to build a factory. Public demand was increased when a similar colour was adopted by Queen Victoria in Britain and by Empress Eugénie, wife of Napoleon III, in France, when the crinoline or hooped-skirt, whose manufacture used a large quantity of cloth, became fashionable. Everything fell into place: with hard work and lucky timing, Perkin became rich.
After the discovery of mauveine, many new aniline dyes appeared, factories producing them were constructed across Europe. This discovery was the subject of a question on the 2012 season of the BBC quiz show Eggheads; the Travel Channel featured the Perkin discovery on the 24 January 2013 show of Mysteries at the Museum. William Perkin continued active research in organic chemistry for the rest of his life: he discovered and marketed other synthetic dyes, including Britannia Violet and Perkin's Green. Local lore has it that the colour of the nearby Grand Union Canal changed from week to week depending on the activity at Perkin's Greenford dyeworks. In 1869, Perkin found a method for
Arthur Aikin, FLS, FGS was an English chemist and scientific writer, was a founding member of the Chemical Society. He first became its Treasurer in 1841, became the Society's second President, he was born at Lancashire into a distinguished literary family of prominent Unitarians. The best known of these was his paternal aunt, Anna Letitia Barbauld, a woman of letters who wrote poetry and essays as well as early children's literature, his father, Dr John Aikin, was a medical doctor and author. His grandfather called John, was a Unitarian scholar and theological tutor associated with Warrington Academy, his sister Lucy was a historical writer. Their brother Charles was brought up as their cousin. Arthur Aikin studied chemistry under Joseph Priestley in the New College at Hackney, gave attention to the practical applications of the science. In early life he was a Unitarian minister for a short time. Aikin lectured on chemistry at Guy's Hospital for thirty-two years, he became the President of the British Mineralogical Society in 1801 for five years up until 1806 when the Society merged with the Askesian Society.
From 1803 to 1808 he was editor of the Annual Review. In 1805 Aiken became a Proprietor of the London Institution, founded in 1806, he was one of the founders of the Geological Society of London in 1807 and was its honorary secretary in 1812–1817. He gave lectures in 1813 and 1814, he contributed papers on the Wrekin and the Shropshire coalfield, among others, to the transactions of that society. His Manual of Mineralogy was published in 1814, he became the paid Secretary of the Society of Arts and was elected as a Fellow. He was founder of the Chemical Society of London in 1841, being its first Treasurer and, between 1843 and 1845, second President. In order to support himself, outside of his work with the British Mineralogical Society, the London Institution and the Geological Society, Aiken worked as a writer and lecturer to the public and to medical students at Guy's Hospital, his writing and journalism were useful for publicising foreign scientific news to the wider British public. He was a member of the Linnean Society and in 1820 joined the Institution of Civil Engineers.
He was esteemed as a man of sound judgement and wide knowledge. Aikin never married, died at Hoxton in London in 1854. Journal of a Tour through North Wales and Part of Shropshire with Observations in Mineralogy and Other Branches of Natural History A Manual of Mineralogy A Dictionary of Chemistry and Mineralogy, 2 vols.. For Rees's Cyclopædia he wrote articles about Chemistry and Mineralogy, but the topics are not known. Works written by or about Arthur Aikin at Wikisource Media related to Arthur Aikin at Wikimedia Commons