« Stuff You Missed in History Class

A Brief History of Colors

2014-08-04 | 🔗

Pigments and dyes have come from all manner of animals, vegetables and minerals. From ochre to cochineal red to the rarest of purples, color has been an important part of human life for centuries. Read the show notes here.

Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
By her Mars, the newest resort destination and about just a short flight from the. U S in fifteen minutes from the upper comprise three lux Ocean front: hotels, three and high it s less in Rosewood, Baja, more features. Forty world class restaurants in nightlife spot eleven pools the large casino in the Caribbean plus golf tennis spot in more to book your stay and explore winter specials visit Baja more dont. Come that's Baja, more support for this time. hence comes from see you now. A pike has created by Johnson and Johnson, american Nurses Association, highlighting innovative in human centred solutions driven by nurses. Addressing today's most challenging healthcare problems hosted by nurse economist and health, TAT, specialist Shanna Butler over the decades and centuries we ve been looking at
at their work and their research in their science, but we haven't really been seeing them see you now available wherever you get gasped continue stuff. You missed in history class from house up, works TAT come well, I'm how we try, and we have done so. Many though so many listener request to talk about the history of a specific colored. Most recently with Nicole, you asked us the creation of the color move, and before that we have both. You ask us to talk about it, which is a blue die, that's really important. In the jewish tradition, I hear the entire book that word and he sent us a review copy of it about a year ago. I am absolutely certain. We ve gotten request the talk about colonial red and
general history of the color blue and I think there must have been on Facebook or Twitter, because I can't find them in our inbox in either over there in boxes. Actually, if you ve been checking out of our epoch thirds before the very end, our male address now is his reply. Gas at Helstone works not come through. If you send it to discovery, we will not get it. We get it so we also very recently had a listener named Hautala. Ask if we might talk about a general history of color or of dies, and so that's. Where are we today. A lot of these other specific requests that people have made of us are going to come up today, but this is sort of an overview of dies and pigments in how we ve been using them during or throughout history, which I
because I love colouring who hath related the title and arts in all the other. Viewed as on earth, the nice nice follow up to our recent make up episode, which featured lots of color talk, Sir, don't make sense, animal vegetable or mineral could almost be addressing game about pigments and dies. People have been using all of these two too make things prettier all way back in the pre history as to the world. we had a lot of them to choose from. If there was an appliance source of red, there could be an animal and, if Neither of those. Perhaps they had a mineral that they could source for red color. So to start, ochre, which is made of iron oxide, is found abundantly all over the planet. Iron oxide itself, as one of their most common minerals and ochre, is probably the thing that people used to make their clothing in surroundings. More
well before they use anything else. That was probably the first pigment an ogre produces a range of earthy kind of yellow Brown to red brown colors. It was used in some of the world's oldest cave paintings. Soon, you imagine those you can pretty quickly conjure what ochre looks like and what the various levels of saturation of it look like, and it was also used in textiles. We have evidence that prehistoric people's also used to die animal skins and well, it's been used all over the world throughout history in particular, the memory of New Zealand have traditionally used ochre extensively. These used it on their faces and hair on their canoes and homes, and on the bones of the dead There is also in the yellow family saffron, which comes from the dried stigmas of crocuses. This makes really rich yellows and oranges and one of its most recognisable you This is, is in the garments of buddhist monks. Saffron have a really long history of its own,
always, go in the latter part of this episode, when we're gonna be talking about a few colors but have a longer history, but just as much of its history is about being a spice and a medicine as it is about being a die just having a moment or I'm remembering Mama awesome saffron brand as we talk about them. Saffron rice is also deal is good Matter really can make all kinds of shades of red and yellow is cinnabar, which is a sulfide mineral has been used to make read as well, although it is unfortunate. Hawk sick, so is lead which we also talked about in our cosmetics episode, which is also sometimes been used to make red paints in Europe. People used wooed to make blue and purple dies for centuries with plant that changed in the seventeenth century than people started importing indigo, which was a superior
worth of die from India, and he is not the only place where INDIGO grows, but once it started to catch on in in Europe, the British started up a number of indigo plantations in India. This made the NBA the main source of indigo for much of Europe and this sort of lead. She was cycle of the band and more demand they would plant plantations and demand would increase their more plantations in and people were really working themselves to the bone on these indigo plantations. This eventually led to India's INDIGO Revolt, which was an uprising by the farmers against the plantations and that a european owners of the plantations in eighteen, fifty six and eighteen, fifty seven, maybe go- is still used extensively. Though especially for dying venom for your blue jeans, so green tones have come from like in fungi and especially minerals, copper
A big one here, but cobalt has also been used to make some shades of green when it comes to shades of black. There are all kinds of very common things that you can use to make paints and inks out of including soot, ivory and bones, but you can't really die things with most of these because they don't stick to the fabric for a long time. There was no true black die. People in Europe would mostly made black fabric by dying it a series of other colors which, unless it was sort of a byproduct of red, die the same down over and over as it got older. This was a time consuming and expensive. That's even an issue that continues today when people purchase an article of clothing or peace, a fabric, and they want a diet. Black, even the actually available dies. What you usually get is a very dark purple through aid to get a nice saturated black
actually changed this sort of time consuming really costly approach to multiple die layers that they were doing after Europeans. and making their way to the Americas, and they actually found a tree that became known as logwood and the heart would have. Logwood is very, very dark and a true black. I could be extracted from it, because the primary source of logwood, Traders from Spain this die was actually banned in England from its introduction layer around fifteen. Seventy five all the way. Seventy three. this quote of a food, colors character of a spanish character, and
oh spanish war and other tensions between England and staying probably have a lot more to do with it than whether the dye faded quickly. There also lots and lots of ways to make light pigments, including chalk, rice and limestone and, as we often talked about an hour, make up episode led lead, is kind of a multi purpose component, depending on exactly what its made with and how its prepared. That's really why there What led based pink around for so many years, so in most of the world, people have had quite a number of options for making a vast array of colours, but a couple of specific guys have turned out to have really really rich stories of their own, and we will talk about those more in just a moment. If Tracy would like to take a brief pause for a word from our sponsor, when it comes to using data. Everyone is different. why activity mobile created a different kind of wireless network, one
designed to save you money by letting you design your own data, giving you What choice and control compared to other top wireless carriers now you can choose. Unlimited share data its lines of each in which any line any time, no one else, but to do that or autumn it connects to millions of secure wifi, hot spots and the best l de everywhere else? So, no matter where you are, we got you covered while stating up to four hundred dollars a year on. Your wireless bell takes that any mobile its wireless, we imagined called visit a store or go to explaining mobile dot com. Today, simple easy. Also restrictions apply not available and always requires residential post. They extremely actual savings varying are not guaranteed. Many mobile broadband exposures visit daddy, daddy, daddy, directs in any doubt, coms, less mobile,
Hu, the century of professional flooring experience both a clean means. One big spilled snow big deal so when looking for the best to care for hardwood floors, use bona hardwood floor, cleaner, the rest, free fast, drawing formula is specially designed to clean hardwood floors by gently and effectively removing dust dirt and grime to reveal the floors. Natural shine and beauty water based solutions and green guard. Gold certification ensure a safe product for your family, your pets and our planet for them throw clean use the bona hardwood floor, cleaner with bonus premium micro, fibre, mop and micro fibre cleaning had designed elusively toward together as a system bona hardwood floor. Cleaner is available at most retailers, where floor cleaning products are sold on Amazon and bona dot com also available for your other hard surface forest like stone title, laminate vinyl and l e t for cleaning AM exclusive offers visit, boat,
dot com, slash bona clean, and there we were hot back to the wonderful world of color. One source of red around the world have been insects. The colonial is scale insect that native to central and South America from people also pronounce it cochineal and Europeans got there first glimpse of it. Thanks to their can, he threw her nine Cortez in the fifteen hundreds, the various species of insect used for this die all in the genus dactyls copious. Although court hasn't soldiers called them Cornelia, cultivator, the females live on prickly, pear, cactuses, the wind Lois them from cactus to cactus when they're still myths, and that is the mature. They attach themselves to the correct. I, the females are harvested from the cat I and then dried, and then they are crushed and bathed in acid in a power
die, contains about seventy thousand of these little insects. Some people, in addition to pronouncing Cockadoodle two different wave, also use colonial and carbine interchangeably. Other people, sort of differentiate between colonial car minus two shades of red either way. Car mine is also made from these same bugs soon after her peons were introduced to these insects. The Habsburg decided to start up a cock, anneal business and they started exporting Cockney or back to Spain, and the colonial trade
then spread all over the world. In the sixteen hundred diaries started figuring out how to modify colonial to make all kinds of other seeds of red said the demand for its skyrocketed, although occasionally it would give a little bit thanks to various economic conditions or perhaps wars. Entrepreneurs in Europe kept trying to figure out how to move Cockadoodle production out of the Americas because, in addition to it being pretty expensive to ship these massive loads of of ex across the ocean. This was the height of piracies golden age, which meant that ships that were carrying with red die were always at risk in the part of the ocean that they needed to cross to get back to Spain, and although the sex themselves live in many parts of the world. Today, thanks to very deliberate efforts to transplant them, actually,
getting a usable number of them to grow somewhere else turned out to be really quite a task ship after shit left, the Americas loaded down with plants and insects only for something Ino unfortunate the befall them along the way. Either the insects would die or their lifecycle would be interrupted by the travel or a well meaning. Crew member would destroy those pesky bugs with salt water once the insects finally did make it to India, which was really one of one of the places people are hoping they could take off. It was without a crime of cacti for them to live on. They wound up surviving on a similar species that already lived in India, but even so, the Indian Company'Ll industry really never managed to supplant the American one. India was producing four thousand pounds of the dye a year, seventeen- ninety seven but pretty much everyone in Europe thought it was badly inferior to the dye that was coming from central and South America and company
is still used today, and one of those uses is actually food, which is the letter. sure, grinning and disturbing to people who die the idea of eating bugs. Unless you are allergic to them, there is no health risk and having them in your food. yeah, I kind of like it. That is one of those. Whenever I have a food revelation about. Oh, this is actually gross thing you ve been concealing like well, have consumed for years, right and cockney. It was one of the many things that goes in that category. We also have a few fancy used to talk about running blue is your favorite color? Isn't it it is not why we're talking about more than one billion people Sure Blue is the oldest man made blue die and the old man may die in general that we know of, as its name suggests, that got his star in Egypt about three thousand years with the combination of lime, copper oxide and courts, and once these were put into it,
in the right proportions. They were fired down to a fine powder that could be made into paints and dies on. A few are confused because earlier we said that ochre was the oldest thing. You can pretty much make an ogre paint out of straight up ochre and something to mice in it. With this was a much more deliberate, combining of multiple ingredients to make a die. Ultra Marine has also been around for a really long time. Is made from Lapis lazuli, which was primarily mind and Afghanistan, making all for marine from Lapis Lazuli was an intensely manual process. Powdered of mineral would have to be heatedly needed with lie to ultimately make this die there. Some evidence that the Chinese have says to ultramarine as early as the eighth century BC. Ie. There are some very ancient glazed aids that modern analysis has shown that have been made with ultramarine. There are also other blue pigments used in the glass
though, so it is possible that the Ultra Marine was accidentally synthesize thanks to impurities in the kiln. We do know for sure that by the sixth century c e deliberately made ultra marine inks appear and byzantine manuscripts Its popularity really took off during the middle ages in Europe and because so much time, labour and travel, was involved in its production and distribution it with exorbitant, really expensive. This is one of the reasons it was used with very particular significance in religious, work, the Virgin Mary, often whereas Ultra marine blue clothing in medieval art and the cost of expense is also why the french society for the ink
german of national industry announced a prize for whoever could make a cost effective synthetic ultra marine in eighteen, twenty four and cost effective here, men less than three hundred francs per kilogram. I got into some drama about who eventually claimed that rise, because they were too Few people who, independently of one another, came up with the same basic Gratis or synthetic offer marine and then is often the case. Artist didn't want to use a synthetic synthetic one. Could they thought it wasn't as good as the villain hell? It is blue die, that's very important. In the jewish tradition, it was traditionally used to tie blue threads used in the tassels that are in the corners of prayer shawls. This color comes from the glance of a snail most likely help Lex trunk useless and at first the color that the snails secretions pretty
kind of a brownish yellow. But if you soak cotton in a vat of it seems that died as cotton and then let it air dry and the sun it turns. Blue is mentioned repeatedly in the Torah and often in the same context is precious materials like golden silk. The die was so religiously important that the methods for making it were a very closely guarded he read, this unfortunately meant that the knowledge of how to produce it was lost around the seventh century as Islamic people's moved into the eastern Mediterranean. Modern scholars have managed to recreate how to produce this color, but there are still some debate about whether it's exactly the same as the ancient here described in these texts and before we talk about another die that was definitely made from snails. We're will take a brief break to talk about a word was uttered.
Burma is the newest resort destination in the Bahamas. Comprises three luxurious ocean front hotels ran high as less in rosewood, the resort overlooks sparkling turquoise water and the white sands of cable beach. It's just a short flight from the? U S and a fifteen minute derived from the airport, making it an incredibly easy getaway any time of the year, there's something for everyone. At Bahama, eleven gorgeous landscape, pools and miles of carefully in beachfront offer endless relaxation guess can play it, blew Baja, Mars, Jack, Nicholas Design Golf or on nine prestige. Tennis court for thrills. That Baja Mark is seen as the largest in the caribbean poor experience, an array of luxury retail outlets and a flagship aspects. There are over forty restaurants, force lounges, ranging from casual waterside in these two world class, dining destinations, relax, cocktail, lounges and high energy nights, but two
your next vacation. I wanted by Hamas three iconic hotels and splore winter specials, including up to thirty five percent savings on your state visit, Baja Marduk, that's be a h, H, M, a our dotcom. Here's the thing saving money with Geico was almost better than playing pick up. Basketball, is always that guy who joined your game? He never passes the rock. He instantly bricks theories, and who can we have you and then put his hands up and say no foul, no foul with Geico. It's easy to switch and save on car insurance, no need to fake an angel sprained, because you're absolutely exhausted, so which in save with Geiger it's almost than sport. And now we will get back to you. Some others colors that have particularly interesting and longer stories fell. We ve already talked about some Toto
cost effective, widely available ways to make purple, but in the roman empire people got a little weird about purple and one color purple in particular, as with tell it Tiree and Purple came from sea snails, specifically Balinese Brent Heiress, previously known as more expenditure, And this guy was primarily made in the city of tyre in what is now Lebanon. Its height of popularity was during the time of the roman empire, and its mentioned at least fifty times in the Christian Bible when its living this snails, the creates a slightly toxic mucus, that's part of how it kills its prey, and if you crack open its shell, you can puncture the mucous gland and get out a drop of that mucus when this drop of mucus is exposed to wipe it progresses through several colors on the blue green end of the spectrum before winding up purple
it's a twelve thousand snails to make enough die to die one roman toga. Consequently, an enormous hill of discarded shells formed outside the city of tyre and today, this hill has actually become. Usable land, its home to houses, businesses, there's a cemetery there and its actually known as mere Ex hill? there are still broken snail shells all around its base. That is astounding, twelve thousand snails number is why purple die, especially Tiree Empurpled. I was so expensive and associated only with the very rich but by the year four hundred its popularity had also made these snails pretty hard the vine. So it became illegal for anyone who wasn't actually of the royal family. It's aware, Tiree in Purple, because it was just a scarce and he knew the royal royalty didn't want to lose their purple, that they are so fond of
both both emperors Nero and Theodosius, the second considered the wearing of tiree and purple. By now royalty to be punishable by death. Following me, roman empire. The color fell out of favor and people went back to the old stand, buys of indigo and like him, this is one of those situations. We kind of look at what it takes to make this purple and the fact that you can make purple other waves. There is really it's not like. That was the only purple. This did it, which is the only one that was, though rare, that people would all strange about how they they were emotionally invested in it. Your color status, because the whole sociological study able thing at that point so
Truly people figured out how to make them better dies. William Henry Perkin, with an english chemist, he was actually trying to synthesize quinine, which we talked about before it's used to treat malaria in eighteen, fifty six and he stumbled across something else entirely, which was moved die, and he too was making the substance and it was kind of black and gross looking. Then he realized ass. He looked at it that it was actually kind of a pretty color and spaces indifferent spaces. This came to be known as analyze purple and of Marvin, and it was the first truly synthetic die Pergamon used his new leave, discovered chemical process to set up his own die factory and once Queen Victoria wore a move dressed her daughters, wedding, which was in eighteen. Fifty eight Europe was almost instantly caught up in move madness for comment.
turned his eye to all kinds of other colours and he ended up becoming very, very rich, but he gave most of his profits away to charity. This didn't instantly put an end to natural dies. There is still plenty of natural dive. Even today, many artists and artisans really resisted the idea. Using synthetic colours and at first in line was also very expensive, but the availability of synthetic dies did really change the playing field significantly when it came to color. You know why spend so much time and effort farming, cock anneal, if you can just make a pretty synthetic, read that basically the same thing, Today, colors have lost some of the that they carried in earlier parts of history, especially in the industrialized world. It's pretty common which, though in many parts of the world, blue and purple where the colors of royalty, but today you can get a blue, better for the same prices, a brown sweater. You don't have to pay extra for a royal purple crayon and today people might use the color she where to judge,
personality or your sense of taste, but in places where You guys are readily available that doesn't actually extend your actual social class or net worth. Colors are Denmark. anybody can have him. Yeah he read a really interesting paper that was about yet people. Pretty much now will judge your color literacy like whether they think the combination of colors you're wearing our tacky or to show we or something like that, but that doesn't actually translate the how much those colors cost or what your actual social status is. Yes, it'll be united to borrow from project runway your taste level that somebody
your social standing right. I also have an interesting piece of listener: mail from David and if one of those messages where someone asked the question that I actually found the answer to while I was researching the podcast, but it didn't make it into the episode because I didn't want to be real us down a rabbit hole of sidetrack through this is from David who says dear Tracy and Holly, and your podcast about the battle of moments. You discussed a vision, angels coming to the rescue of the british troops led by a saint I'm, not well versed in mythology or histories. I wonder, if is actually the first an instance of this type of story in Robert Jordan's, fantasy epoch, the horn of value is used to call upon the heroes of the horn. A group of deceased legendary warriors led by a great general arter, HAWK wing to assess the protagonists of the story to prevail in the final battle. It was always my assumption that Robert Jordan TRAIN,
military history at the citadel was borrowing from mythology for this and other elements of his story. But now I wonder if it was borrowed from the story of battle of moans. Is it possible that General John Char terrorists, who you characterized as a propagandist and who would also be trained in military history, may have bar This, either from earlier military legend or from mythology mythology can be a powerful tool for rallying troops, something that even Relations, are well aware of and used to motivate workers without landing or heroic stories of their founders. He D, Steve jobs. Are you we're of any mythological basis, or this supposed event cheers David. So first what does actually reminded me of when I was working on it was the oath breakers, also known as the dead men have done, hero in the Lord of the rings.
Trilogy. Similarly, some decease troops, you're gonna, come back and fight and save the day for the protagonists, and there is definitely of folk. Lorry precedent for a story is of some kind of supernatural or divine intervention coming to help people on the battlefield. It's pretty clear in this particular story that that that the story, the Bowman, was the ultimate source for something and that that John Shower Terraces propaganda work was kind of building up that story that people were already passing around. But I read a really interesting article in the journal. Folklore from two thousand and two by a man named David Clark, which went into the whole history of wartime stories.
about supernatural interventions that change the course of a battle and send us going to read a little bit of it. Similar stories can be found in the folklore and the mythology of many nations. These include the vision of the Holy Cross to the emperor Constantine before the battle of Miliband Bridge and the legend of King Arthur and Frederick Barbarossa. There were sent to lie sleeping in caves waiting for the call to defend their country in a future conflict in the case of the visions of minds and interesting avenue of investigation relates to the substitution within popular belief of King Arthur, with Saint George, as the identity of the figure on horseback. You scatters, the german cavalry. The source of this motif can be found in mountains story, where the soldier recalls the invitation to Saint George painted upon place at a vegetarian restaurant. Furthermore, Arthur mountains writing
Were directly influenced by the patriotic and martial traditions drawn from the mythology of Britain, he then goes goes on to talk about some other folk lore EC stories about Saint George appearing to troops at different battles, starting as far back as the fourth century. So yes, while there is definitely historical precedent of folk tales and legends of supernatural troops coming tat help in a battle in this project,
or case. It's pretty clear that it was for work of fixing the inspired the whole thing. So, thank you very much David for writing to us. If you would like to write to us, we write history. I guess TAT S, the common wealth on Facebook and respect accomplishments in history and on Twitter, Agnes in history. Our tumblr is MR misread. Tumblr got home and we're on Pinterest had been restock bomb slackness in history. If you would like to learn a little more about what we have talked about today, you can come to our parent website, which is how stuff works, dot com and you can put there's energy research bar- you will find an article that is called why'd. You boys, where blue and drove working. I think it's actually girls, where pink and boys were blue, but give them to the story of how we got into this gender and situation of what pillars are: okay for boys and girls in american helper. You can also come to our website, which is best in history com. You can find shouted and all the episodes and lots of other stuff. You can do
all of that and a whole lot more has to work and live in history more on this and thousands of other time. Let us have works. This episode of stuff, you missed them. History classes brought to you by W W, formerly wait watchers they have launched the new. My Debbie Debbie Programme is their most groundbreaking and customize programme. Ever when you join the Mai, Debbie Debbie Program, you will take a personal assessment, that's about your eating habits and you're behaviors, and that is scientifically matches. You up with a proven weight loss plan, I'm a blue plant and it really makes a huge difference for me in terms of encouraging means, eat healthy foods so head on overdue, W debbie dot com, that's w w dot com to joint Debbie Debbie. Today, with a limited time offer.
My name is Sebastian man escargot cordiality, and this is the Peat and Sebastian POD catches is a show Two guys, I'm comedian peak orally, and I believe this is comedy goal. I right to the PETE and Sebastian show I Iheartradio radio at Apple podcast or wherever you eat your pad