Google Doodle: Sir William Henry Perkin remembered on 180th birth anniversary

Google Doodle Perkin feat

Google Doodle Remembers British Chemist Sir William Henry Perkin

The Doodle shows Sir William Henry Perkin with a bottle of the purple dye on the right of the Doodle, as the letters of the word Google flow through what appear to be men and women from the 19th century wearing clothes dyed in the colour.

Queen Elizabeth herself wore a mamuveine-dyed gown to the Royal Exhibition of 1862.

How was the dye discovered?

The Google Doodle on Monday featured British chemist Sir William Henry Perkin on his 180th birth anniversary. Born on March 12, 1838, in London, Perkin was an inquisitive child but his ardour for chemistry gained momentum after he stumbled upon a deteriorating laboratory at his late grandfather's home.

Interestingly, Perkin made the discovery quite At the age of 15, Perkin joined the Royal Collage of Chemistry under the guidance of August Wilhelm von Hofmann, who had the time had published a hypothesis on how it might be possible to synthesise quinine, an expensive natural substance much in demand for the treatment of malaria. He carried out several experiments using aniline, a waste product of coal tar which was produced in huge quantities and was readily available at low costs.

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During the rest of his life Perkin manufactured other synthetic dyes including Britannia Violet and Perkin's Green, as well as discovering the first synthetic perfume chemical coumarine.

He first named it Tyrian Purple, but later it became more commonly known as mauve - from the French for the plant used to make the colour. Empress Eugenie, the wife of Napoleon III, was also one of the leading trendsetters in Europe. Mr Perkin gave the world "mauveine", the world's first synthetic dye, used for colouring fabrics.

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. In 1906, the Perkin Medal was established to commemorate the 50 anniversary of the discovery.

He died in 1907, after suffering from pneumonia and is buried in Harrow, London.

All three sons, William Jr, Arthur and Frederick, became chemists.

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