Perkin's original mauve dye, 1863-1864.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 21cm x 32cm

Perkin's original mauve dye, 1863-1864.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


A bottle of mauveine acetate dye, labelled 'Original Mauveine prepared by Sir William Perkin in 1856', but probably prepared in 1863-1864. Perkin (1838-1907) discovered the synthetic purple dye mauve in 1856, while trying to synthesise quinine, a cure for malaria. A year later he set up a synthetic dyestuffs factory in Greenford, Middlesex, and produced the mauve shawl shown here, which was exhibited at the International Exhibition of 1862.

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