National Geographic : 1999 Jul
4 To create brilliant Fiesta Red dinnerware in1936, the Homer Laughlin China Com pany used uranium oxide. The color was temporarily discon tinued in 1943 when the U.S . government took control of uranium for the war effort and was finally dropped in 1972. 4 Inmany animal species, including humans, red quickens the heart rate and causes the release of adrenaline. Men in the U.S . respond most strongly to reds with yellow mixed in; women prefer blue-based reds. "Red tape," which has come to mean bureaucratic complications, is used to bind correspondence between solic itors and barristers in England. The tape was originally dyed with safflower. 4 Soot swept from the chim neys of peat-burning stoves is still used to dye wool on Harris in Scotland's Outer Hebrides. Peat soot produces colors ranging from light yellow-beige to deep brown. • The dye magenta, invented in 1859, was named in honor of Napoleon Ill's victory over Austria at the Lombard town of Magenta, Italy. The shade is one of the four principal inks used incolor printing. 4 Ancient Greeks mixed pig ment with hot wax to color their warships. The process was later used during the Roman period for portraits placed on Egyptian mummies inthe Fayum region. Their colors remain brilliant today. • Makers of traditional cheeses like Swiss, cheddar, and Gouda color their products to maintain a consistent and marketable look. But consumer preferences vary: Inthe U.S ., Midwesterners like their ched dar orange; East Coast buyers often prefer light yellow. BRITISHMUSEUM,LONDON • Crayola: It is craie,the French word for chalk, and ola, from oleaginous (oily). Paraffin and pigment are the principal components of the more than two billion crayons Crayola makes each year. 4 Fleas inLouis XVI's palace gave the ladies of the court fits, but when one of Marie Antoinette's favorite shades was christened puce (French for flea), the name stuck. Dyers soon offered hues called belly of flea, thigh of flea, and blushing flea. 4 Want to keep the color? Artificial turf is exposed to intense sunlight and heat in the Arizona desert by Atlas Weathering Services Group, a firm that tests how quickly numerous products fade. PAINTINGBYJOHNDAWSON • Campbell Soup adopted the color red in 1898 after an exec utive was inspired by the red and-white uniforms of Cornell University's football team. Many companies now score points using red, which creates the illusion of advancing toward consumers. Popular with European painters for three centuries, mummy was a rich brown pig ment made by grinding the remains of Egyptian mummies.