Mauve: How One Man Invented a Colour That Changed the World

Mauve How One Man Invented a Colour That Changed the World An artificial dye mauve was discovered by a th century chemist called William Perkin while searching for a synthetic alternative to natural quinine This book examines how the different worlds of f

  • Title: Mauve: How One Man Invented a Colour That Changed the World
  • Author: Simon Garfield
  • ISBN: 0756750253
  • Page: 145
  • Format: Hardcover
  • An artificial dye, mauve, was discovered by a 19th century chemist called William Perkin while searching for a synthetic alternative to natural quinine This book examines how the different worlds of fashion, industry, business, chemistry and medicine were transformed by a single colour.

    • [PDF] ✓ Free Download ✓ Mauve: How One Man Invented a Colour That Changed the World : by Simon Garfield ✓
      145 Simon Garfield
    • thumbnail Title: [PDF] ✓ Free Download ✓ Mauve: How One Man Invented a Colour That Changed the World : by Simon Garfield ✓
      Posted by:Simon Garfield
      Published :2018-04-01T02:34:55+00:00

    1 thought on “Mauve: How One Man Invented a Colour That Changed the World”

    1. I have a confession to make - I work for a chemical company (not making dyes though), and used to be an engineer in a former existence, so I understood a fair amount of what this book says about chemistry. BUT, it's a great narrative of how one small moment in time, a mistake, an error, happened to completely revolutionize our lives today. The chemical industry gets a bad wrap these days, sometimes fairly (chemical companies have done some pretty stupid/heinous things) and sometimes unfairly (tr [...]

    2. I am glad that Garfield wrote this book because I don't think I would otherwise have learned about the history and significance of synthetic dyes. However, this book seemed to be more a collection of facts than a narrative. I wouldn't be surprised if someone told me that Mauve contains the author's notes, which he planned to flesh out to create a coherent story, but then he ran out of time. In many instances, I wasn't sure what to make of the facts presented.Example One: Garfield says that Perki [...]

    3. This is the kind of book that gives history a bad name. The format is very "so and so was born on such and such date, and then on this date he did this." No emotional content, no larger over-arching narrative, nothing compelling whatsoever (and it covered two world wars in which dye works played some non-trivial role!). It could possibly have been more boring, but I'm not sure how. For instance, it contained no fewer than five seemingly real-time accounts of nine hour celebratory banquets held i [...]

    4. Mauve as a color has always been a bit of a puzzle. It’s not exactly purple, or lilac, or magenta. It’s certainly not very popular today, and if you showed up at work wearing mauve you’d raise eyebrows. Somehow it conjures up images of grandmothers and musty old drawing rooms with fading wallpaper. It’s yesterday’s color — so what could it possibly have to do with innovation?A lot, as it turns out. As Simon Garfield explains, eighteen-year-old William Perkin was trying to make qu [...]

    5. Science, like art, is largely perspiration with a minute amount of inspiration thrown into it. Occasionally, however, the greatest discoveries can come about through sheer luck. However, William Perkin was more than merely a lucky amateur. Humble, soft spoken and yet gifted, talented, blessed with a curious, keen intellect and scientific know-how, Mr. Perkin set out to find a cure for malaria and stumbled across something just as wonderful—a brand new color that would end up revolutionizing th [...]

    6. A slim but broad-reaching tale of the beginning of artifiical dyes. At the time Perkin made his discovery that coal-tar could be transformed into mauve dye, chemistry was thought of like philosophy--a gentleman's pursuit with no worldly or industrial value. Perkin's discovery and subsequent ability to make money off of it changed that perception forever. By the time he died, chemistry was a roaring industry.The history of artificial dyes is a fascinating one. Before Perkin discovered mauve, all [...]

    7. The story of William Perkin, a British chemist who as a teenager accidentally stumbled upon coal-tar derivative dyes --- mauve being the first. Beyond its immediate impact of creating a new industry and economy (“mauve measles” was a huge fad), the dyes were later found to have applications in cell research, medicines, explosives and plastics.It is an intriguing story, but it’s better suited to a New Yorker article; the book itself is a bit much. Perkin wasn’t a very interesting man apar [...]

    8. It is hard not to be impressed by an author who can take such a seemingly mundane topic as the development of a dye for a particular purple hue and produce from it such a readable story . Of course, it helps that there is already a surprisingly interesting untold tale to be told, and it covers quite a bit of ground - from the staid and stiff academic institutions of Europe, through the establishment of the early applied synthetic chemistry laboratories, to the very founding of the pharmaceutical [...]

    9. Astonishing -- a story most of us never knew or have forgotten. Did you know that sticky, smell, humble coal tar has given us everything from fashion's bright colors to a variety of medicines? I had no idea. Unfortunately, the story is told in a strange order that makes it hard to follow, but the facts are interesting and the writer does his best to stick to what people really said and did.

    10. Great idea and subject, but the author's awakward attempts to mix 19th Century chemist Perkin's life with science, fashion and the modern day never really blends well.

    11. Quite interesting despite bogging down considerably in the middle. Mauve - it's a dye! it's a dessert topping! it helped fight tropical diseases!and more!

    12. This was a fascinating book, albeit on a very specific topic. Nicely done and full of interesting nuggets of information about life in Victorian England.

    13. More wonderful science-nerd nonfiction. This book is more than the story behind a color, it's really about the invention of chemistry, commercialization of chemicals, etc. But it is also a great story of the discovery of brilliant color (mauve) from the colorless, thought-to-be-worthless (coal tar, yech), and a bit about the hubris of assuming new substances are harmless.Minus a bit on the rating because the writing wanders and because there is a huge missed opportunity in that Garfield never di [...]

    14. At eighteen year old William Perkins discovered the synthetic dye mauve. He retired a rich man at 35. His genius was applying chemisty to industry and promoting his discovery. Mauve was the beginng of the vast chemical industry we know today. The author or the editors were uncomfortable with this just being a 19th century story so they add 20th century codas to some of the chapters which seem out of place. The last few pages of the book deal with current science. These bits and pieces scattered [...]

    15. 2.5 stars. An obviously well-researched book, but altogether pretty dryly presented with just spurts of being truly engaging. Finished the book (skimming at the end) thinking that the credo for writing good fiction applies to historical nonfiction, too--don't just TELL me all the facts, SHOW me how they interweave with time and place and custom to create the rich story we call history. I do recommend this book for teachers who wish to integrate their chemistry and history curriculums.

    16. Perhaps surprisingly, a very interesting read. There are a few disconcerting jumps from events in the 19th century to the 1990s and back again, and it would have been good to have a glossary with the old-fashioned names and their modern equivalents and/or chemicla structure. But overall, an excellent and informative biography.

    17. I love stories of how things we take for granted actually had a big effect on history. This is such a book. The discovery of the color mauve had a huge impact on fashion, as would be expected, yet also on medical and technical advances as well. I found it fascinating.

    18. This micro-history of mauve dye manages to cram science, history, and fashion into a brief 200 pages. It's definitely quirky in its range, and at times heavily factual and technical for the casual reader. However, there is artistry in just which facts the author chooses to include.

    19. The information in this book is good, but I didn't care for the writing style. It was inconsistent and jumped around. Overall, good information.

    20. A nonfiction book that reads like a novel - not so easy to do, and very satisfying to read! I'm a big fan of purple, the more deeply violet, the better - so I was quite happy to see the gorgeous shade of original mauve reproduced in the color plates (and at various sites online, just Google "historical mauve"!). Normally I perceive mauve as that ugly 80's color you find on wallpaper, alongside the equally unfortunate mint-green, a relic of days long past (and usually, visits to sketchy hotels or [...]

    21. Garfield's writing style is mostly matter-of-fact, with a few flashes of oddness or romance, which I wanted more of: I liked, for example, that he gave the recipe for Perkin's dye alongside a recipe for Nesselrode pudding (served at a jubilee dinner in New York celebrating Perkin's invention). I wanted more of that: my absolute favorite thing in the book was the long list of where color-names come from (chemicals flowers, places, fruits, common things, etc.). Which isn't to say that the central [...]

    22. Today's post is on Mauve: How One Man Invented a Color that Changed the World by Simon Garfield. It is 222 pages including an index and it is published by W. W. Norton & Company. The cover is an oil painting of Sir William Perkins. The intended reader is someone who likes science, history, and surprising inventions. There is no language, no sex, and no violence in this book. The story is told in two ways; the past is from the third person perspective with letters and other first hand documen [...]

    23. An interesting story, plainly told, about a modest man (William Perkin) whose dedication to science over fame meant he never fully exploited the benefits of his discoveries. Also some passing references to the dangers of arsenic & aniline colouring techniques of the 1800s, and where the science of colour has been and come to. With some irritating quotes from the nineties, I suppose to ground the biography as contemporarily relevant.Although my little hardcover is physically beautiful and has [...]

    24. Mauve is an informative mix of science, history, and biography. Simon Garfield tells the story of William Henry Perkin who created the dye color mauve from coal tar extracts while searching for a synthetic form of quinine in 1856. What Perkin did at the age of eighteen was begin the modern synthesis of organic compounds from fossil fuels that have transformed the world from a mid-19th century world to the one of today. His accidental discovery of the first aniline dye through a trial and error e [...]

    25. Highly technical, this story offers the life story of William Perkin and the long-term results of his accidental discovery. It was the April 2013 selection for my local book club and if it weren't for that, I'm not sure if I'd have ever read this book.The narrative is informative and interesting, but I would caution that much of the chemistry discussed is probably best suited for those with strong chemistry backgrounds. Overall, I found this book to offer a fascinating look at the background of [...]

    26. This book details William Perkin's discovery of mauve. He comes across the color while he is working with coal tar and attempting to find some medicinal applications. He dyes a cloth that color, showed it to dyers that were enthusiastic about it, and then began to put together the means to produce the color (no easy task). The first half of the book details his life before and after the discovery as well as the changes that happened because of his work during his lifetime. The second half of the [...]

    27. A semester of grad school has happened since I finished this book (and is the primarily reason it's taken me this long to write a review). So a detailed review is not in the cards, but I do still remember my general thoughts.I love books like this - that are hyper-specific and contain history that you would probably never hear about any other place. Who knew that mauve was such a big deal, both economically and culturally? Not me. In addition to the fascinating story of the discovery of mauve sp [...]

    28. Gosh I liked this book. High school chemistry was a long time ago——back when there were only 12 known elements––and I would never have thought that a book about chemistry and a chemist could be so engaging. But it was. And his discovery? Mauve! It’s not even a color I have an affinity, it's not in my wardrobe. Not a color I go out of my way to admire, but when I came across this book, it intrigued me. It’s the story of William Perkin an English chemist who in 1856 was trying to creat [...]

    29. Filed under books about unusual topics. Who knew Mauve, the first synthetic dye, had such an impact! While there was a lot of interesting information here, I felt like after a while this book was less about William Perkins and Mauve, and more about the science that grew from the time period. Pros:A unique story about an overlooked scientific invention. I learned more about Mauve than I thought possible. Garfield does a great job of showing how the process that created the dye Mauve influenced ma [...]

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *