March 22, 2018

Google Doodle Celebrates William Henry Perkins, Who Made the World More Purple

12 March 2018, 05:21 | Brandon Parsons

Google Doodle Remembers British Chemist Sir William Henry Perkin

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

In fact it wasn't until 1838, when the chemist Sir William Henry Perkin accidentally discovered a purple substance when cleaning up after an experiment, that it became readily accessible to the British public - and later to the world.

Previous Google Doodles on March 12 have featured Holi Festival, Chinese Arbor Day and Swedish author Evert Taube's 123rd birthday.

Perkin was trying to find a substitute for quinine, the only viable medical treatment for malaria in 1856, as demand was exceeding supply.

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. "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.

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

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The Perkin Medal was established in 1906 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the discovery of mauveine.

Perkin discovered the aniline purple dye under the guidance of German chemist August Von Hofmann, while studying at the Royal College of Chemistry in London.

Sonny Ross, a UK-based illustrator who drew today's Doodle tries to capture the frenzy of the once-exclusive purple clothing in Britain after mauveine was commercialised.

In 1856, Perkin carried out a series of experiments to manufacture quinine from aniline, an cheap and readily available coal tar waste product, working in his makeshift laboratory at his home. That same year, Sir William Henry Perkin patented the dye and set up an aniline manufacturing plant at Greenford Green near Harrow in London.

Forum discussion at Google+.

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