The Accidental Invention of the Color Mauve

Throughout the ages, purple was regarded as a colour belonging to royalty and the elite, in part due to its rarity. But why? Before, purple dyes were painstakingly created from two mollusc species, which almost drove them to extinction. Other purples faded quickly in polluted air. However, purple (specifically, “mauve”, which was incredibly resilient) spiked in usage in the late 1800s after William Perkin accidentally invented the dye while trying to synthesise a quinine from coal tar. Read full article here


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