A scientist of major importance, Frankland remains far too little-known. He worked as Playfair’s assistant before going to Germany with his lifelong friends Kolbe and Tyndall to study with Bunsen, returning later to study with Liebig. Hofmann became a colleague back in London, while Spencer and Hooker, as well as Tyndall and occasionally Darwin (a frequent correspondent), were fellow-members of Huxley’s exclusive ‘X Club’. Tyndall also camped out high up Mont Blanc with Frankland, experimenting on combustion and pressure. Faraday was a friend, and godfather to Frankland’s son. Kekulé, despite professional proximity and ill-feeling, had no meaningful contact.