Perkin's first assignment, given to him by his superiors at the university, was to help discover how to synthesise quinine to combat malaria.
Celebrating the 180th birthday of British chemist Sir William Henry Perkin, today's Google Doodle features the purple colour to commemorate his accidental invention of the first synthetic dye.
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. Born on March 12, 1838, in London, Perkin was an inquisitive child but his ardour for chemistry gained momentum after he stumbled upon a deteriorating laboratory at his late grandfather's home. However, he had started working as a chemist to assist the German chemist August Wilhelm von Hofmann at Imperial College in London at the age of 15.
Deep in purple, the doodle captures the violent frenzied fashion trends of that era as Perkin's discovery made the expensive colour easily available to the masses.
"Wealthy and successful from his stint in manufacturing, Perkin eventually returned to laboratory research", it added. However, his attempt at making quinine from aniline, an low-cost coal tar waste, was unsuccessful. In the doodle, Perkin has been shown holding light in from of fashionable people in purple attires of different shades.
This was the flawless time for Perkin to have made his discovery and he went about getting his father to invest in his discovery, which caught on in Britain's booming textile industry right away. England was then in the grip of the Industrial Revolution and coal tar, the major source of his raw material, was being produced in large quantities as a waste product. Today it is acknowledged as the highest honour in American industrial chemistry.