Google today is celebrating the 180th birthday of British chemist Sir William Henry Perkin with a purple doodle.
Google today is celebrating the 180th birthday of British chemist Sir William Henry Perkin with a purple doodle. Born on March 12, 1838, William Henry Perkin is remembered in history for accidentally discovering“mauveine,” the first synthetic dye. Hailing from England, Sir William Henry Perkin had made the discovery when he was just 18 years old. It all happened when Perkin who was then a laboratory assistant was cleaning out dark muck from a beaker after a failed experiment. It was then that he discovered that when diluted with alcohol, the substance left a vivid purple stain. Following his discovery, he focused on the patenting, manufacturing, and commercialization of this purple dye, which he named “mauveine.”
When the discovery was made by the Perkin, the textile industry was at a high. His timing was perfect as purple clothing was very much in style. Though the purple clothing was prohibitively expensive for most, it was faded quickly. The strong and inexpensively produced mauveine discovered by Perkins was then made readily accessible because of him. The colour which was once exclusive was now readily accessible was for many. It was the that the ‘mauveine’ dye that was accidentaly discovered by Perkins soon ignited a violet fashion frenzy. In the year 1862, Queen Victoria herself wore a mauveine-dyed gown to the Royal Exhibition.
After becoming wealthy and successful after discovering“mauveine,” Sir William Henry Perkin eventually returned to laboratory research.. On the 50th anniversary of his serendipitous discovery, in the year 1906, Perkins was knighted by the Queen. Today’s Doodle has been designed by UK-based illustrator Sonny Ross to remember the British chemist.