Lyon Playfair, British chemist

Lyon Playfair, British chemist

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Lyon Playfair (1818-1898), Scottish chemist and politician. Playfair abandoned his medical training to switch to chemistry. His career was extremely varied. He became professor of chemistry at the Royal Institute in Manchester, while also managing a textile-printing factory. From 1858 he held the chemistry chair at Edinburgh University, and in 1868 was elected a member of parliament. As a politician he helped to establish a new government department of science and art (1853). As a friend of Prince Albert he organised the Great Exhibition in 1851. He was raised to the peerage in 1892, becoming 1st Baron Playfair of St Andrews. Engraving from The Year-Book of Facts 1853.

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