He made it possible to color clothing and other materials in an economic manner.
The Doodle shows Sir William Henry Perkin with a bottle of the purple dye on the right of the Doodle, as the letters of the word Google flow through what appear to be men and women from the 19th century wearing clothes dyed in the colour.
He was born in London on March 12, 1838 and passed at the age of 69 in London on July 14, 1907.
Perkin was trying to find a synthetic treatment for malaria when he accidentally discovered the dye.
Hence the people wearing purple in the Google Doodle, a color too expensive for most people to wear, he made accessible to nearly all. The Perkin Medal was established in 1906 around 50 years after mauveine was discovered and is the highest honour in American industrial chemistry.
This was the ideal time for Perkin to have made his discovery and he went about getting his father to invest in his discovery, which caught on in Britain's booming textile industry right away.
After finding that the substance could dye silk permanently without washing out, they called their new chemical discovery mauveine and after sending a sample to a dye works in Perth, Perkin filed for a patent on it when he was still just 18. Since purple clothing was in style, expensive for most, and quick to fade, the commercialization turned Perkin into an early enterpreneur. "Perkin's strong and inexpensively produced mauveine finally made this once-exclusive color readily accessible, igniting a violet fashion frenzy", writes Google.
Queen Victoria herself wore a mauveine-dyed gown to the Royal Exhibition of 1862, making Perkin's invention a huge hit. He later returned to laboratory research.
Forum discussion at Google+.