Coal tar dye

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An early general name for any of the thousands of synthetic organic colorants obtained from coal-tar based products, such as Benzene, Toluene, Xylene, Naphthalene, Anthracene, and Aniline. Coal-tar dyes were first derived in 1856 when William Perkin made Mauve, an Aniline dye.

See also Aniline dye.

Synonyms and Related Terms

aniline dyes; colorante al catrame (It.); aniline colors; coal tar colors; coal-tar colors


  • Some coal tar dyes are carcinogenic.

Resources and Citations

  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Hermann Kuhn, Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art and Antiquities, Butterworths, London, 1986