Sir William Henry Perkin Google Logo


The chemist was honored Monday with a Google Doodle on the homepage of the search engine. It would be his 180th birthday today.

Sir William Henry Perkin, FRS, (1838-1907), was born in London on March 12. Perkin's discovery made the colour easily available to the masses.

Google's Doodle features Perkin, dressed in shades of purple in front of a crowd of people dressed in similarly vivid colors.

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This was the ideal time for Perkin to have made his discovery and he went about getting his father to invest in his discovery, which caught on in Britain's booming textile industry right away. The doodle is designed by UK-based illustrator Sonny Ross.

Today's Google doodle marks the 180th birthday of the British scientist, Sir William Henry Perkin.

Queen Victoria herself wore a mauveine-dyed gown to the Royal Exhibition of 1862, making Perkin's invention a huge hit. Perkin was trying to synthesize quinine for the treatment of malaria, but ended up becoming successful in the field of dyes after the discovery of purple mauveine.

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According to Google, Perkin, while cleaning out a beaker in a lab, stumbled upon what would become the first synthetic dye. "Following his discovery, he focused on the patenting, manufacturing, and commercialization of this purple dye, which he named mauveine", Google wrote.

Perkin was knighted in 1906, on the 50th anniversary of his serendipitous discovery.

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.

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The dye was used in more than just clothing, it was also used in the medical research industry where the dyes were used to identify anthrax and tuberculosis on a microbial and bacterial level.