Published: Mon, March 12, 2018
Sci-tech | By Brandy Patterson

Google remembers the man who discovered the synthetic dye with a doodle

Google remembers the man who discovered the synthetic dye with a doodle

Search engine Google on Friday celebrated the life and works of Sir William Henry Perkin.

Wikipedia said "through failing in trying to synthesise quinine for the treatment of malaria, he became successful in the field of dyes after his first discovery at the age of 18". While cleaning out the dark muck from a beaker after a failed experiment, the 18-year-old laboratory assistant noticed that the substance left a vivid purple stain when diluted with alcohol. The Doodle celebrates the 180th birthday of Perkins, who was knighted in 1906 because of his marvellous discovery.

The chemical dye had many names including "Tyrian Purple" and aniline purple in addition to mauveine and finally, just mauve.

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This was the ideal time for Perkin to have made his discovery and he went about getting his father to invest in his discovery, which caught on in Britain's booming textile industry right away. Today marks the 180th birthday of Sir Willian Henry Perkin and apart from mauveine, he is also known for aniline dye and Perkin triangle.

Until the mid-1800s, purple clothing was hard to come by and restricted only to those who could afford the expensive fabrics.

Perkins' discovery of strong and low-priced purple dye sparked a violet fashion frenzy - as illustrated in today's Google Doodle created by the artist Sonny Ross. Google says after earning much wealth and success in manufacturing, Perkin returned to laboratory research.

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The rich purple colour Mr Perkin had stumbled across was adopted by no less than Queen Victoria herself.

Sir William Perkin was born in the East End to a carpenter father and Scottish mother, and he was the youngest of seven children. He died at the age of 69 due to pneumonia and other complications resulting from a burst appendix.

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