December 15, 2018

Google Doodle Remembers British Chemist Sir William Henry Perkin

12 March 2018, 05:24 | Cameron Gross

Google Doodle Remembers British Chemist Sir William Henry Perkin

Google Honours British Chemist Sir William Henry Perkin Who Accidentally Discovered Synthetic Dye

Following his invention, Perkins quickly focused on the patenting, manufacturing and commercialisation of this purple dye.

Today on Google's home page is a special Google logo, a Google Doodle, for the British Chemist who accidental discovered the first aniline dye: the purple mauveine, Sir William Henry Perkin. Mr Perkin gave the world "mauveine", the world's first synthetic dye, used for colouring fabrics. Born on March 12, 1838, in London, Perkin was an inquisitive child but his ardour for chemistry gained momentum after he stumbled upon a deteriorating laboratory at his late grandfather's home.

Perkin was an 18-year-old lab assistant when he accidentally discovered purple dye mauveine while cleaning out a beaker from a failed experiment.

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

While attempting to produce quinine - a drug used to treat malaria, and found in tonic water - Sir William Henry Perkin instead created a "bluish substance with excellent dyeing properties" that later became what is known as aniline purple, or mauve.

Deep in purple, the doodle captures the violent frenzied fashion trends of that era as Perkin's discovery made the expensive colour easily available to the masses. Google called the timing of his serendipitous discovery "remarkable" because the textile industry was at full-force.

Until the mid-1800s, purple clothing was hard to come by and restricted only to those who could afford the expensive fabrics. Even Queen Victoria herself wore a mauveine-dyed gown to the Royal Exhibition of 1862! The Doodle celebrates the 180th birthday of Perkins, who was knighted in 1906 because of his marvellous discovery.

Wealthy and successful from his stint in manufacturing, Perkin eventually returned to laboratory research.

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