In 1856, William Perkin was an eighteen-year-old research assistant to London chemist August Hofman. Hofman was working with quinine, which was then the only treatment for malaria. At one point, Perkin found himself alone in the lab, and continued working with quinine on his own. While experimenting with coal tar in the hope of creating artificial quinine, Perkin found that he was left with a dirty, brownish residue. Perkin continued his experiments, and was eventually left with a lavender-pink residue that we know as mauve.

According to the passage, William Perkin was:

a research assistant

Explanation

The passage clearly states that William Perkin was a research assistant to a chemist.

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