Tech

Google Doodle celebrates 180th birth anniversary of Sir William Henry Perkin

Google Doodle celebrates 180th birth anniversary of Sir William Henry Perkin

Google are celebrating the successful life and career of the chemist with a Doodle. The doodle is designed by UK-based illustrator Sonny Ross.

Hence the people wearing purple in the Google Doodle, a color too expensive for most people to wear, he made accessible to nearly all. The colour mauve became the rage as ladies of fashion adopted the new hue that resulted in a violent fashion craze.

Queen Victoria wore a gown that was dyed using mauveine in 1862 to the Royal Exhibition.

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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. 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. He is credited with discovering synthetic dye at a young age of 18.

The Science Museum in London said: "If you were an average person in the 1850s your wardrobe would have been made up of many shades of beige and browns". German chemist August von Hofmann recognised Perkin's ability and made him his assistant. Being at the peak of post-industrial revolution, Perkin's discovery happened to be at the appropriate time. He was unsuccessful in his attempt to synthesise quinine but in a related reaction a mysterious dark sludge was produced.

The chemist continued his research and his passion for dyes - having developed and introduced aniline red in 1859, aniline black in 1863 and alkylate magenta in 1864. Perkin had accidently invented the first synthetic dye. He was quick to recognise the commercial possibility of the dye, originally named as Tyrian Purple. In 1906, the Perkin Medal was established to commemorate the 50 anniversary of the discovery. Today it is acknowledged as the highest honour in American industrial chemistry.