1859 Eugénie receiving Magenta flag from the Illustrated London News

This print from The Illustrated London News shows Empress Eugénie receiving a flag commemorating the Franco-Savoian victory at Magenta. The Battle of Magenta was a major victory for France and a major step to Italian unification the House of Savoy.

The battle also lent its name to a (then) recently discovered coal-tar amine dye originally called fuschine, but since known as magenta. A Briton discovered it, but German firms took the lead in synthetic dyes and chemical manufacturing from Britain and never looked back until the end of World War I.

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