ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
William Allen (1770-1843), English pharmacist and philanthropist. Allen was born in London to a Quaker family. Allen worked in the family silk manufacture business until 1790 when he started to work for a pharmacist. In 1801 he struck out on his own. In 1802 he was elected Fellow of the Linnean Society and lectured at the Royal Institution. He did original reseach on the chemistry of carbon and in 1807 was elected Fellow of the Royal Society. He was a fervent abolitionist and was instrumental in the establishment of the African Institution. He was also a philanthropist, giving much of his fortune for the founding of progressive schools in which girls had equal opportunities to study sciences as boys.
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