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Alphabe Thursday M is for Mauve

February 13, 2014

Mauve was originally  called Tyrian Purple by William Henry Perkin in 1856; at 18 he was a student at the Royal College of Chemistry. He, among others had been looking for a synthetic alternative to quinine, the Malaria remedy that was only found in the bark of a particular South American tree.  

After experimenting with hydrogen, oxygen and coal tar, Perkin noticed a black residue in the glasses. As he was about to discard it he noticed its strangely beautiful colour.  He decided to call his new discovery Tyrian Purple as an ancient dye used for the gowns worn only  by emperors of Rome and suggested luxury and elitism and a clever marketing ploy.  

However these scholarly historical references  may not have perhaps attracted buyers of high fashion so new dye was named after a pretty French flower.  Mauve from the French form Malva ‘mallow’ named after  the mallow flower.

It was after this when other chemists began experimenting with alternatives to natural colours

alphabet thursday

9 Comments leave one →
  1. February 13, 2014 1:18 pm

    so he’s the one that started the synthetic mania! Too bad high fashion left him in the dust! {:-D

  2. February 13, 2014 4:02 pm

    creative choice for M and lovely photos ~ thanks

    carol and artmusedog

  3. February 13, 2014 7:26 pm

    mauve what a colour cant wear it but love it in the garden

  4. February 13, 2014 11:32 pm

    I had a mauve kitchen once. it sounds a little weird now, but at the time it was quite in style…

  5. February 14, 2014 8:58 pm

    Interesting that it was what sparked creation of other colors. I like mauve, it’s very pretty.

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