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Topic: Mauve
TOPIC:
Mauve
Mauve was the result of a good chemist failing to beat nature. William Henry Perkin took a mistaken route to quinine in 1856, but made a fortune out of the first commercially successful synthetic dye. Mauve was the forerunner of later developments: the synthesis of natural dyes, synthetic pharmaceuticals, synthetic fibres, pesticides and modern explosives. But mauve also became the prototypical example of the British invention let down by the country’s failure to capitalise on a success and become the dominant player in the industry that followed. Does mauve still have any lessons for us today?
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Topic section: Mauve as Science
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East End teenager tries to make a drug from coal tar and ends up making a fortune from a completely new kind of dye…  > more

Topic section: Mauve as Innovation
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Perkin’s mauve became the first commercially successful dye to be produced. However by the end of 19th century it was Germany, not Britain, who was leading in the industry.  > more

Topic section: Mauve as icon
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In order to revive Britain’s reputation in the dye industry, the story of Perkin’s mauve was resurrected and promoted as a success during the anniversary of its discovery.  > more
 
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