OXFORD SCIENCE ARCHIVE / HERITAGE IMAGES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY OXFORD SCIENCE ARCHIVE / HERITAGE IMAGES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Lyon Playfair, Scottish chemist and politician, 1890-1894. Playfair (1818-1898) studied chemistry at Glasgow under Thomas Graham, and under Liebig at Giessen. Professor of chemistry at Edinburgh University from 1858-1896, he discovered the nitroprusside class of salts. Playfair was appointed chemist to the Geological Survey in 1846 and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society 1848. He was engaged in the organisation of the Great Exhibition of 1851. Liberal MP for the universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh from 1868-1885, Playfair served as Secretary of State for Science and Art in 1855 and was Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons from 1880-1883. He was knighted in 1883 and was created a Baron in 1892. From The Cabinet Portrait Gallery. London, 1890-1894. Artist: W&D Downey.
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