Robert Fraser-Thomson
Manufacturing Chemist
ColorantsHistory.Org
Robert Fraser-Thomson
Photo:  
Dye-Makers of Great Britain 1856-1976
Robert Fraser-Thomson was the son of Mr. J.H. Thomson, a pharmacist in Lochee.  He earned his M.A., B.Sc., and D.Sc.
degrees at St. Andrews University and also studied at Cambridge under Professor William Jackson Pope.  Prior to his research
work at Cambridge, he lectured at St. Andrews and worked as a chemical assistant at the firm of William Beardmore & Co., the
largest steelmaking company in Scotland.

James Morton, the founder of Solway Dyes, later called
Scottish Dyes Ltd., needed highly qualified research chemists.  An
accountant friend introduced him to Professor Pope, who recommended the hiring of Fraser-Thomson in 1916.  Morton
developed a business relationship with the
National Aniline & Chemical Company to sell the Solway Blue dye in the U.S.  
During 1918, Fraser-Thomson and colleague John Anderton were sent to the Buffalo, New York plant to help with construction,
initiate production, and train the National Aniline chemists to make the first anthraquinone acid wool dye in the U.S.  

A prime target for the research chemists at Scottish Dyes was to synthesize a pure green vat dye with outstanding fastness
properties, a task at even which the Germans had failed.  On September 20, 1920, the research group of Fraser-Thomson,
John Thomas and Arthur H. Davies proudly came to Morton with a sample of the new colour and a fabric skein dyed a beautiful
jade green. This colour became famous around the world as Caledon Jade Green.












Fraser-Thomson succeeded Davies at the Murrell Hill Works as Works Manager in 1921.  When the Carlisle factory was closed
in 1929, he became research manager at the
Grangemouth works.  
























He was an outstanding chemist in the field of anthraquinone colours, with his name linked to 47 British patents of Scottish
Dyes during his 37 years of service.  In 1937 he was transferred to the Dyestuffs Group of ICI to work on specialty chemicals
and pest-control products.  Fraser-Thomson retired in 1952 and died in 1959.

Source:  M.R. Fox,
Dye-Makers of Great Britain 1856-1976, Imperial Chemical Industries, 1987.
Robert Fraser-Thomson (seated center) with the Chemist Cricket Team-1930
Photo:  
90 Years On The Earl's Road, 2009
Caledon Jade Green 2G Printed on Mercerized Cotton (left) and on Viscose Rayon (right)
Image:  
Caledon and Durindone Dyestuffs Printed on Cotton and Viscose Rayon, Imperial Chemical Industries, 1961
Click Here for List of Patents Awarded to Robert Fraser-Thomson