Sir William Henry Perkin dedicated a Google doodle on his birth anniversary

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Today on Google's home page is a special Google logo, a Google Doodle, for the British Chemist who accidental discovered the first aniline dye: the purple mauveine, Sir William Henry Perkin.

The colour of the dye Perkin had discovered accidentally was purple while he was trying to synthesise quinine in the lab for the treatment of malaria at the age of 18. German chemist August von Hofmann recognised Perkin's ability and made him his assistant.

Hence the people wearing purple in the Google Doodle, a color too expensive for most people to wear, he made accessible to nearly all.

Purple clothing was very much in fashion during Perkin's happy discovery - but was previously too expensive for most people to buy and would also fade quickly.

After finding that the substance could dye silk permanently without washing out, they called their new chemical discovery mauveine and after sending a sample to a dye works in Perth, Perkin filed for a patent on it when he was still just 18.

The rich purple colour Mr Perkin had stumbled across was adopted by no less than Queen Victoria herself.

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The Science Museum said: "Perkin's synthetic colourant was a gateway, leading to the emergence of the synthetic dye industry".

Perkin was the son of a successful carpenter, Scottish mother, and was the youngest of seven children.

The experiment proved that the chemical aniline could be partly transformed into a crude mixture which, when extracted with alcohol, produced a substance with an intense purple colour. However, his attempt at making quinine from aniline, an low-priced coal tar waste, was unsuccessful. Perkin's discovery made the colour easily available to the masses. Perkin had accidently invented the first synthetic dye. Empress Eugenie, the wife of Napoleon III, was also one of the leading trendsetters in Europe.

Mauve discovered by Sir William Henry Perkin.

This method became known as the "Perkin synthetis". Today it is acknowledged as the highest honour in American industrial chemistry.

The scientist died in 1907 of pneumonia and other medical repercussions of a burst appendix.