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

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

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

The secondary color, which is made by mixing red and blue, is popular among cartoon characters, clothing and logos, partly thanks to its association with characteristics including leadership, royalty and courage.

Celebrating the 180th birthday of British chemist Sir William Henry Perkin, today's Google Doodle features the purple colour to commemorate his accidental invention of the first synthetic dye.

Born in London on March 12, 1838, William Perkin was the youngest of the seven children of George Perkin, a successful carpenter.

Hence the people wearing purple in the Google Doodle, a color too expensive for most people to wear, he made accessible to nearly all.

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Perkin was trying to find a substitute for quinine which was the only feasible medical treatment for malaria in 1856 because the demand for it was exceeding the supply.

This was the flawless 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. "Following his discovery, he focused on the patenting, manufacturing, and commercialization of this purple dye, which he named mauveine", Google wrote.

Until the mid-1800s, purple clothing was hard to come by and restricted only to those who could afford the expensive fabrics. And with that, the exclusive color was available for everyone starting a violent fashion frenzy like shown in the Google Doodle today.

After decades dedicated to manufacturing and working on dyes, Perkin went back to research after he sold his factory in 1874.

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At the Royal Exhibition of 1862, Queen Victoria herself wore a mauveine-dyed gown.

Happy 180th birthday, Sir William Henry Perkin! The Perkin Medal was established in 1906 around 50 years after mauveine was discovered and is the highest honour in American industrial chemistry.

Forum discussion at Google+.

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