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.