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Google remembers the man who discovered the synthetic dye with a doodle

12 March 2018

The doodle was in celebration of what would have been his 180th birthday. The secondary color, which is made by mixing red and blue, is popular among cartoon characters, clothing and logos, partly thanks to its association with characteristics including leadership, royalty and courage.

Sir William Henry Perkin, who introduced brightly coloured clothing to the masses and laid the foundation of today's chemical and pharmaceutical industries was honoured by Google, on his 180th birthday, with a doodle on Monday.

Following his invention, Perkins quickly focused on the patenting, manufacturing and commercialisation of this purple dye.

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.

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"As an 18-year-old laboratory assistant, Perkin was cleaning out dark muck from a beaker after a failed experiment, when he noticed that the substance left a vivid purple stain when diluted with alcohol".

Until the mid-1800s, purple clothing was hard to come by and restricted only to those who could afford the expensive fabrics. The Google Doodle has been designed by UK-based illustrator Sonny Ross, who has given the doodle a mauve or violet hue.

Born on March 12, 1838, in London, Perkin accidentally discovered the aniline purple dye when he was a student at the Royal College of Chemistry in London.

The rich purple colour Mr Perkin had stumbled across was adopted by no less than Queen Victoria herself.

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The Perkin Medal was established in 1906 to honour the 50th anniversary of the discovery of mauvine.

In 1856, Perkin carried out a series of experiments to manufacture quinine from aniline, an low-priced and readily available coal tar waste product, working in his makeshift laboratory at his home.

Sir William Henry Perkin passed away in 1907 after suffering from pneumonia and is buried in Harrow.

Forum discussion at Google+.

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Google remembers the man who discovered the synthetic dye with a doodle