Sir William Perkin (1838-1907)
An English chemist that began his career at a very young age, acting as a “backyard chemist”. Perkin’s early main goal was to synthesize quinine, a substance used to treat malaria, so that it wouldn’t have to be harvested from the cinchona tree in South America. Though Perkin was not able to synthesize quinine, he did synthesize mauvenine, the first synthetic dye. Producing the first synthetic dye opened up the world of pharmaceuticals by being able to stain bacteria — even inhibit them — using synthetic dyes.
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