Google Doodle honours chemist who accidentally discovered synthetic dye

Google Doodle Perkin feat

Google Doodle Perkin feat

Search engine Google on Friday celebrated the life and works of Sir William Henry Perkin. Perkin has been remembered for his discovery of first aniline dye, the colour of which was adopted by the British royalty and fashion industry then.

Perkin was trying to find a substitute for quinine, the only viable medical treatment for malaria in 1856, as demand was exceeding supply. In the doodle, Perkin has been shown holding light in from of fashionable people in purple attires of different shades.

William Henry Perkin is credited with discovering synthetic dye at a young age of 18.

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. Mr Perkin gave the world "mauveine", the world's first synthetic dye, used for colouring fabrics. However, his attempt at making quinine from aniline, an low-cost coal tar waste, was unsuccessful. Perkin had accidently invented the first synthetic dye.

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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. Being at the peak of post-industrial revolution, Perkin's discovery happened to be at the appropriate time.

A school founded in Perkin's name can be found in Greenford, Middlesex and the uniform is mauve in tribute to his eye-popping finding. Even Queen Victoria herself wore a mauveine-dyed gown to the Royal Exhibition of 1862! Empress Eugenie, the wife of Napoleon III, was also one of the leading trendsetters in Europe.

After making relative riches from manufacturing, Sir William Henry Perkin turn to researching and studying chemical processes and was knighted in 1906, 50 years after his accidental discovery.

The reach of today's Doodle is limited to the United States, west coast of South America, the UK and a few other European countries, India, Japan and Indonesia.

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