Lyon Playfair, 1st Baron Playfair(1818-1898), Chemist, scientific adviser and Scottish politician; MP
Sitter in 16 portraits
Playfair studied medicine in Scotland and chemistry in Giessen, where he made his name under the renowned chemist Justus von Liebig. He went on to become a professor of chemistry in London, and later Edinburgh. In 1868, Playfair was elected to Parliament, starting a long career of work on government committees, including public health, the Irish potato famine and the reform of the Civil Service. He was Prince Albert's chief adviser on the Great Exhibition of 1851 and helped to establish the Royal College of Science and South Kensington Museum. Playfair spent his life fulfilling the role of a government scientist, promoting scientific education and encouraging industry to make use of scientific advances.
by Samuel Henry Gordon Alken, and by George Augustus Sala, published by Ackermann & Co
hand coloured etching and aquatint, 1 March 1853
by Carlo Pellegrini
chromolithograph, published in Vanity Fair 20 February 1875