William Hesketh Lever, (1851-1925) first Viscount Leverhulme, was a dynamic and forward-thinking man.
He was the driving force behind the expansion of Lever Brothers in 1886, opening a new site allowing production of soap to increase from 20 tons to 800 tons per week. This venture was a key building block of the corporation. In addition to his manufacturing interests he was a pioneer with regards to the welfare of his employees and set aside 169 acres of land for worker housing, which rapidly took shape as the Port Sunlight model village.
Viscount Leverhulme was a Member of the SCI Liverpool Section (now the Liverpool and North West Regional Group) from 1891 until his death in 1925. When awarded the Society's Messel Medal in 1924, the President described him as 'leader of one of the most important industries based on chemical science and, above all, a leader of men and an empire builder in the very widest sense of the term'. His son was SCI President in the late 1930s.
Image: National Portrait Gallery by Bassano Ltd (NPG x18936), Creative Commons