Google Doodle celebrates 180th birth anniversary of Sir William Henry Perkin

Google Doodle celebrates 180th birth anniversary of Sir William Henry Perkin

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

Perkin, known for giving birth to the modern chemical industry, did not stop with this discovery but went on researching to find other aniline dye colours and synthetic scents. There Perkin started experimenting in synthesising quinine used in the treatment of malaria.

He entered the Royal College of Chemistry, now part of Imperial College London, at the surprisingly young age of 15 in 1853.

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. In the doodle, Perkin has been shown holding light in from of fashionable people in purple attires of different shades.

Born on 12 March 1838, William Henry Perkin's discovery of "mauveine", the first synthetic dye, was found at the time when the textile industry was at a high.

Perkin was married twice and had an impressive seven children.

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The experiment proved that the chemical aniline could be partly transformed into a crude mixture which, when extracted with alcohol, produced a substance with an intense purple colour. He is credited with discovering synthetic dye at a young age of 18.

The discovery was significant as until then fabrics had to be coloured with expensive natural substances that could never be used in large quantities.

Sadly when he discovered the brilliant red dye alizarin, he was beaten to getting a patent for it by a German company called BASF, and Germany quickly gained a monopoly on the manufacture and selling of dyes, forcing Perkin to sell off his holdings and retire.

Making use of the cheap and widely accessible coal tar, the factory began producing the world's first synthetically dyed material in 1857.

Both Queen Victoria and Empress Eugénie, the wife of Napoleon III were seen in the colour.

Mauve discovered by Sir William Henry Perkin. On the 50th anniversary of his discovery, he was knighted in 1906. His three sons all became chemists.

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