[Histonet] Making your own dyes? from scratch?


P. Dehnavi in Austria asks, I think, if it is possible to make your own dyes 
from scratch.
The answer is "yes" but you would need a well equipped laboratory. William 
Perkin prepared the color mauve from aniline in 1856 while trying to make 
quinine if I remember correctly (I was NOT there at the time!). To read about how 
dyes are made, a good place to start is the book, "The emergence of the German 
Dye Industry" by J. J. Beer. ( University of Illinois Press 1959). It gives a 
blow by blow account of how dyes were developed, how the German Government 
supported the research, and how companies we now think of as drug manufacturers 
got started (Ciba, Giegy, Bayer. etc.)
A second book is "The History of Staining" by G. Clark & F. H. Kasten. (3ed 
edition, Williams & Wilkins 1983)
Ehrlich's perception that dyes stained cells specifically lead to the 
evolution of chemotherapy.

Mike Titford
USA Pathology
Mobile AL USA
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