Free Press Journal

Google Doodle honours chemist British Sir William Henry Perkin who accidentally discovered synthetic dye


Washington DC [USA]: Google Doodle on Monday honoured British chemist Sir William Henry Perkin on what would have been his 180th birthday. Born in London’s East End on March 12, 1838, Perkin is credited with discovering synthetic dye at a young age of 18.

“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. Following his discovery, he focused on the patenting, manufacturing, and commercialisation of this purple dye, which he named mauveine,” Google wrote in its blog post. He was even knighted in 1906, on the 50th anniversary of his serendipitous discovery. “Wealthy and successful from his stint in manufacturing, Perkin eventually returned to laboratory research,” it added. The doodle is designed by UK-based illustrator Sonny Ross.