Google honours British chemist Perkin with sketch doodle on his 180th birthday

This stands true when we talk about Sir William Henry Perkin. The exclusive and expensive purple dye, with Sir William Henry Perkin's discovery, became readily accessible to the masses.

At the age of 14, Mr Perkin attended the prestigious City of London School - setting him on a path of scientific discovery. However, the discovery was an accidental one.

GOOGLE / GETTY SIR WILLIAM HENRY PERKIN: Google Doodle are celebrating the British chemist Who was Sir William Henry Perkin?

Perkin sold the factory and retired at the age of 36, but he still continued to help discover a way to change the structure of organic compound on a molecular level. He was studying under Wilhelm von Hofmann, a revered German chemist.

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.

The attempt failed, but when he tried to repeat the experiment with aniline instead, he obtained a purple-coloured solution.

So who was this brilliant man who turned the world from black and white to colour overnight? Perkin had accidently invented the first synthetic dye. Today marks the 180th birthday of Sir Willian Henry Perkin and apart from mauveine, he is also known for aniline dye and Perkin triangle.

A 1906 painting of Perkin by Sir Arthur Stockdale Cope hangs in the National Portrait Gallery. In the doodle, Perkin has been shown holding light in from of fashionable people in purple attires of different shades. Moreover, at that time, all dyes for colouring cloth were extracts of natural products, and many of them were expensive and labour-intensive to produce. But those colours were boring, and the prices were high. Perkin could not have chosen a better time or place for his discovery. This resulted in a violet fashion craze.

Both Queen Victoria and Empress Eugénie, the wife of Napoleon III were seen in the colour. Not only the upper class but also middle-class people could afford lovely bright coloured calico without the fear of it getting faded after washing.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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