Google Doodle Honours Perkin, Accidental Discoverer Of Synthetic Dye


Washington: Google has honored chemist Sir William Henry Perkin on his 180th birthday with a purple-filled doodle. Chemist Perkin is credited with accidentally discovering ‘mauveine’, the first synthetic dye.

Born in England on March 12, 1838, Perkin was 18 when he quite accidentally discovered the mauveine while cleaning a dark much from a beaker after a failed experiment. Perkin noticed that the substance left a purple stain when diluted with alcohol increasing his curiosity. Perkin found the colorful dye at the right time when the textile industry was at a high.

According to the Google, after the discovery, “he focused on the patenting, manufacturing, and commercialization of this purple dye, which he named ‘mauveine'”. During the time, purple was quite in style but came at a high cost. Although expensive, the shade would fade out soon. It was Perkin’s mauveine that solved the problems for style lovers and budget seekers.

His discovery came out to be strong and cheap compared to the ones available in the market. And with that, the exclusive color was available for everyone starting a violent fashion frenzy like shown in the Google Doodle today. The doodle is designed by UK-based illustrator Sonny Ross. In 1862, Queen Victoria herself wore a mauveine-dyed gown to the Royal Exhibition.

Perkin gained fame, popularity and wealth with this discovery in the manufacturing dye. He later returned to laboratory research. In 1906, on the 50th anniversary of his discovery, he was knighted and awarded the first Perkin Medal. Today, the Perkin Medal is widely acknowledged as the highest honor in American industrial chemistry.