CHAPTER 10

Improving Indigo: Science in the Colonial Laboratories and Experiment Stations, 1897–1920

Prakash Kumar*

This chapter discusses the introduction and progress of laboratory experiments in Britain and colonial India to improve the production of natural indigo in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. The primary impetus for these experiments in laboratories and experimental farms was the foray into the commercial production of artificial indigo in 1897 by the chemical-producing firm Badische Anilin und Soda Fabrik (BASF) of Germany. When artificial indigo started selling in national and international markets at a price lower than that of natural indigo, European planters based in India were forced to turn to science in ...

Get Science and Modern India now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.