Playfair, Lyon (first Baron Playfair) 1818 - 1898
1818-1898, first Baron Playfair; politician; chemist, born in British-controlled India; British
1820 - sent from India to be raised by an aunt in St Andrews.
1832 - entered the University of St Andrews.
1835 - sent to Glasgow to train, unsuccessfully, as a merchant with his uncle James.
1837 - travelled to Calcutta, where work as a merchant's clerk had been arranged for him.
1838 - returned to England and became a laboratory assistant to the professor of chemistry, Thomas Graham at University College, London.
1841 - took his PhD and helped found the Chemical Society in Britain.
1845 - moved to London on becoming chemist to the Geological Survey.
1848 - elected as a fellow of the Royal Society.
1851 - during the Great Exhibition, he managed the prize-awarding juries and attended to the royal family. 1853 - was appointed as secretary for science, alongside Henry Cole as secretary for art, in the newly constituted Department of Science and Art.
1858 - took up the professorship of chemistry at Edinburgh University.
1870 - invented the postcard.
1873 - appointed postmaster-general.
1877 - travelled to the USA.
1883 - made Knight Commander (KCB).
1885 - served as president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.
1892 - created Baron Playfair of St Andrews.
1895 - appointed Knight Grand Cross (GCB).
1897 - proposed the creation of a new museum at South Kensington, proposing the title ‘Victorian Museum’ in honour of the queen's jubilee.