Ripples build and other News

This is a very short post giving news of;

  • an upcoming Textile conference,
  • two posts that have had their passwords removed
  • and the connection between pain, pus, poison and aniline dyes

 Ripples build and other News

Ripples build

I’m looking forward to the ‘Infinite and Various : Bradford College Textile Archive Conference’ in Bradford on 22nd April 2015. From the range of topics and speakers it looks like providing further evidence – of a substantial kind – of moves to recover the Missing Colour Supplement in Bradford’s Heritage offer. I’m particularly looking forward to the talk on the dyer David Smith, whose work and published writing extends from the period before the discovery of aniline dyes to the period afterwards. These are the periods of transition that, on the continuing profits of Bowling Dyeworks and Edward Ripley & Son, would see the industrial model village of Ripley Ville built. On-line booking for the conference is through Eventbrite at;

Passwords removed

Password protection has been removed from two posts on this site. These are;

Archive Fridays : Water supply & water use in west Bowling 1865-1871

This is the one that this week was favourited by Claire W-S and begins ‘Baths, brewing, brick-making, building a Church, fire-hoses, piggeries, plastering, a public drinking fountain, smoke-houses, stables, water-closets, urinals, ‘1 horse, 2 cows and a duck pond’. It also provides background to the ‘Three Spades’ idea set out in ‘Delving into History’. How can you resist? and

1850s Lustrous Orleans : natural or dyed alpaca worsted

This is about the dyeing of both alpaca fibre (and other lustrous fibres) and alpaca worsted cloth and of possible relationships, in the early 1840s through to the 1860s, of Bowling Dyeworks up the bowl-end of Bradford Dale in south Bradford with Salts Mill to the north of the town in the Aire Valley..

close up colour photograph of head of aplaca

Copyright R L Walker 2014

I’ve tweaked and tidied up the post and I’m putting it back out there because of an up-coming WEA course, running for 7 weeks from April 17th 2015 in Shipley and other local Heritage and history events that will follow this Spring and early Summer.

Pain, Pus, Poison and aniline dyes

I’m a bit late on this but, I have been enjoying the BBC series ‘Pain, Pus and Poison’ for insights, from the perspective of the history of medicine, into the work of Victorian chemists. On ‘mauvine’, interesting to find that William Perkin’s work on quinine can be seen as part of a move by chemists away from work on acids to alkaloids. The suffix ‘-ine’ at the end of its name distinguishes mauvine as an alkaloid. In retrospect the 18 year-old William Perkin’s search in his home laboratory for ;

  • a synthetic form of quinine
  • resulting in ‘a chance discovery’ of the first aniline dye,
  • which he then, according to convention, named mauvine

now all seems more comprehensible – even without any chemical symbols or formulae to show how it could happen. The episode on ‘Pain’ had me going back to Simon Garfield’s excellent book on Perkin’s discovery and its impacts; ‘Mauve’ (2000). Sure enough on pages 30-32, you find Garfield lays out the context for Perkin’s search – the prevalence of mal’aria’ – and then summarises the work of the early French chemist-pharmacists Pelltier and Caventou in first isolating quinine from cinchona bark in 1820 and how in the next two decades they and others isolated; three other pure forms of natural alkaloids that could be used in treating symptoms of malaria, strychnine from St Ignatus beans, caffeine from coffee beans and codeine from opium.

.So, BBC – Thanks for the reminder!

2015/03/26 – Last two episodes available on BBC iplayer


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