New colour transforms science
In 1856, a teenage chemistry prodigy, William Perkin, accidentally invented a new colour. His discovery, mauveine, which he patented on this day, would go on to change the world, in this case quite literally.
Before Perkin's discovery, all dyes were natural - made from roots, leaves, flowers or, in the case of purple, sea snails. Now, for the first time, fabrics could be dyed in predictable, lasting shades. Best of all, Perkin's discovery inspired other bright young Londoners to take up chemistry and develop medicines, photography and much, much more.
We are toasting Perkin and his purple with the mauve-coloured, violet-flavoured Parma Violet Spritz.