Tag Archives: Ph.D

Purple Reigns Over Fall’s Color Pallet

From shoes, jackets, clothes and accessories, you can’t help but notice purple is Fall’s new “it” color.  Long believed to be the symbol of royalty, purple dye has an interesting history.  Did you know, the genesis of purple dye is believed to lie in the glands of tiny shellfish creatures?

Purple dyes can be traced back to about 1900 B.C. where early archaeological evidence points to the Minoan civilization in Crete.  Ancient texts dating back to around 1600 B.C. indicate that the dye was produced from the mucus of the “hypobranchial gland” of a variety of marine mollusks, most notably the Murex.  Incredibly, it took 12,000 shellfish to produce only 1.5 grams of the pure hue.

It’s no surprise then that only royalty would be able to afford such precious material.  Hence purple became a symbol of power and status for the tone and those who wore it.

Fortunately, we have William H. Perkin to thank for the opportunity to wear the royal shade.  While working on a cure for malaria in 1856, Mr. Perkin discovered an aniline-based purple dye, mauveine changing the world of modern dyes and introducing the masses to “mauve”.

You learned something today didn’t you?  Now that you know a little of the history of the color purple, here are some of your many choices for Fall.

(click on images for shopping information)

  Source: Dr. Richard M. Podhajny, Ph.D

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