Google honours British chemist Perkin with sketch doodle on his 180th birthday

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Search engine Google on Friday celebrated the life and works of Sir William Henry Perkin.

Perkin discovered Mauveine, the first synthetic dye at the age of 18.

The passionate and talented chemist began working under the esteemed German chemist August Wilhelm von Hofmann - who 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. In the doodle, Perkin has been shown holding light in from of fashionable people in purple attires of different shades.

Sir William Perkin was born in the East End to a carpenter father and Scottish mother, and he was the youngest of seven children. After the discovery of mauveine, many new aniline dyes appeared in the market across Europe.

At the Royal Exhibition of 1862, Queen Victoria herself wore a mauveine-dyed gown.

After further examination, Perkin added potassium dichromate and alcohol into the aniline in various stages, which resulted in a deep purple solution.

The discovery was significant as until then fabrics had to be coloured with expensive natural substances that could never be used in large quantities. Perkin's discovery made the colour easily available to the masses. He is credited with discovering synthetic dye at a young age of 18. He was unsuccessful in his attempt to synthesise quinine but in a related reaction a mysterious dark sludge was produced.

However, in the 1870s Germany began to race ahead in the dye industry - and Perkin's factory was at a standstill.

Mauve discovered by Sir William Henry Perkin. He was quick to recognise the commercial possibility of the dye, originally named as Tyrian Purple.

The Perkin Medal was established in 1906 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the discovery of mauveine.

The reach of today's Doodle is limited to the United States, west coast of South America, the UK and a few other European countries, India, Japan and Indonesia.

All three sons, William Jr, Arthur and Frederick, became chemists.

Perkin died on July 14, 1907 in London, following complications of pneumonia and a burst appendix.