Discovering colours

Years ago I wrote a short piece for Toxic Custard about the discovery of a new primary colour:

The art world was rocked yesterday at the announcement of Professor Hans Von Fabre of the discovery of a new primary colour. The fourth primary colour, to be known as hans, will revolutionise art and technology all over the world. TV News services worldwide have not been able to broadcast pictures of the new colour because TV sets are manufactured to generate pictures from blue red and green, but not hans. Electronics companies have welcomed the new colour, saying it will increase their income by making everyone go out to buy new TVs and computer monitors. Art critics have acclaimed hans as being able to bring a new lease of life to the art world.

I don’t recall how I thought it up. I guess the concept of discovering an entirely new colour just appealed to me. What a crazy, wacky idea! My sister liked it too — she used it as the basis for a piece of fiction she wrote a few years later.

Discovering colours! Madness! How could such a thing happen?

Imagine my surprise when I found out last week that the colour magenta was only discovered in 1859.

I had no idea such a thing was possible.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

3 replies on “Discovering colours”

This idea will turn up in a Matthew Reilly novel soon, you watch. Not that he pinches ideas from you, but he puts that kind of whacked concept into his stories and passes it off as a basic piece of scientific drudgery.

Daniel, we can probably only see one tiny segment of all available colours; radiowaves are colours that we can’t see. Our colour spectrum is between Purple and Red, so logiclaly, such colours would be seen to be purple or red.

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