Johann Jacob Diesbach

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Johann Jacob Diesbach was a German pigment and dye producer known for his accidental discovery of a method for making a blue known as Prussian blue, AKA iron blue, Berlin blue. In 1706 Diesbach was working in the laboratory of the alchemist Johann Konrad Dippel 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.

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