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Biographical entry Wilkinson, William Percy (1868 - 1947)

13 May 1868
Cathkin, Victoria, Australia
14 March 1947
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Analytical chemist


Percy Wilkinson trained as a pharmacist but made his career as analyst first for the Victorian and then for the Australian Governments. While Assistant Government Analyst for Victoria he worked on the chemical constituents of Eucalyptus species, his report predating similar research by H. G. Smith in New South Wales. In 1908 he was appointed as the first Commonwealth Analyst in the Department of Trade and Customs. He established the Commonwealth Laboratory and founded chemical metrology in the Laboratory. Wilkinson's enthusiasm for wines and wine-making resulted in a number of publications on ampelography including Studies on wine sterilizing machines (1901) and Nomenclature of Australian wines (1919) in which he predicted future controversy around the use of European wine names.



Education - Preliminary examination, Pharmacy Board of Victoria
Education - Intermediate examination, Pharmacy Board of Victoria
1890 - 1902
Career position - Assistant Victorian Government Analyst
1902 - 1908
Career position - Victorian Government Analyst
1908 - 1933
Career position - Commonwealth Government Analyst, Department of Trade and Customs
Career position - Representative for Australia, 8th Triennial International Congress of Applied Chemistry, USA
Career position - Elected Fellow, Institute of Chemistry, London
Life event - Retired

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Published resources

Journal Articles

  • Spurling, T. H. and Webb, J. M., 'William Percy Wilkinson: analytical chemist, ampelographer and provocateur', Chemistry in Australia, vol. 2017, March, 2017, p. 33. Details

Helen Cohn