Johann Jacob Diesbach

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Johann Jacob Diesbach was a German pigment and dye producer known for synthesising a blue pigment known as Prussian blue, aka iron blue or Berlin blue.

Around 1706 Diesbach was working in the laboratory of Johann Leonhard Frisch[1] in Berlin. Using iron sulphate and potash to create cochineal red lake, he used potash that was mixed with animal oil. The result was a very pale red which he concentrated to purple, later a deep blue. While neither one of them knew what exactly happened the formula was the first modern synthetic paint, and an important discovery, because at that time the alternative blue pigments were either not very successful or affordable for large scale use.

The pigment was first mentioned in a letter, the first of several, from Frisch to the president of the Royal Academy of Sciences, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, dated March 1708. By August 1709, the pigment was being referred to as "Preussisch blau" and by November of that year, as "Berlinisch Blau".[1]

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