Perkin's original mauve dye and shawl, 1856-1862.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Sir William Perkin's (1838-1907) original stoppered bottle of mauveine dye, labelled 'Original Mauveine prepared by Sir William Perkin in 1856' (probably repackaged in 1906). Perkin discovered the formula for producing synthetic mauve dye in 1856 while trying to synthesise quinine, a cure for malaria. A year later he set up the first dyestuffs factory in Greenford, Middlesex, and produced the mauve shawl shown here, which was exhibited at the International Exhibition of 1862.