Episode 1 of Scienstorical is up and running!
If you were a snail, living in the Mediterranean, you were probably going to have a pretty bad time. There was one species of snail you could find exclusively off the coast of what’s now Lebanon that, when boiled into a mush, made a vivid purple colour. It was called Tyrian Purple and was used to dye silks and other eye-wateringly expensive cloths. Charlemagne was buried in a shroud made of gold thread and Tyrian purple-dyed silks for example. He was an obscenely rich dude.
Fast forward to the 1800s to an 18 year old Chemistry whizz-kid named William Perkin and his attempt to cure malaria…
… and the rest is history.