New discoveries are sometimes just happy accidents. Take the colour mauve, for example.
On the search for a new medicine to cure malaria, young William Henry Perkin accidentally discovered that the dirty brown sludge left at the bottom of a beaker had a purplish hue. Instead of producing quinine, the 18-year-old had just created the world’s first synthetic dye – mauveine, also known as aniline purple, purple aniline, and Perkin’s mallow. A discovery that d the world forever