What is a nickname for the decade of the 1890s?


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There are a couple of nicknames for the decade of the 1980s, a decade which began on January 1st 1890, and ended on December 31st 1899.

The most used nickname is 'the Mauve Decade', so called because of William Henry Perkin's aniline dye (known as Mauvene and first developed in 1856) which allowed the use of the color Mauve in fashion of the time extensively. Aniline dye is an organic chemical compound, which characterized by its unpleasant smell (usually likened to that of rotting fish), and volatile behavior (the compound is highly flammable). Despite these downsides, the people of the time found it highly fashionable, the rich red color symbolizing a high status in society.

Aniline dye is actually colorless, although it develops a reddish-brown tint over time as it slowly oxidizes and resinifies in air.

Another nickname used to describe the 1890s is 'the Gay Nineties', using the then-current connotation of the word 'gay' to mean merriment and frivolity, and not the homosexual connotations that are usually associated with the word in this current time. Although a popular nickname 'the Gay Nineties' was only coined in 1926.

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