Whose Birthday Is It? March 12, 2018

Sir William Henry Perkin (1838)

At the age of 15, Perkin entered the Royal College of Chemistry in London. It was there, just a few years later, that he discovered the first synthetic dye. Since antiquity, purple garments had been a mark of royalty, as natural purple dyes had to be extracted from mollusks or insects and were thus quite expensive. The lab-created dye made Perkin a wealthy man. In 1906, the chemist was knighted. At the time of his discovery, he had had been trying to create a synthetic version of what? More…

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