Have you ever wondered who made the raincoats first? I mean, yes there were umbrellas, but if you were outside and it started raining cats and dogs? Well, the credit for creating the waterproof material that led to the making of modern raincoats goes to a Scottish chemist Charles Macintosh. And how he came up with the idea of creating a fabric that could repel water is an interesting one.
Apparently, living is Scotland till 1924 was a real pain. The unpredictability of the weather made it difficult to even step outside the house until Macintosh stepped in and saved the day. Charles Macintosh was just 11-years-old when his father moved to Glasgow to set-up a factory, where he was employed as a clerk. Macintosh grew up during the time of the Scottish enlightenment experimenting with various chemicals. While experimenting, he found that Naptha, which is a by-product of tar, was able to dissolve India rubber and the resulting mixture could repel water.
He sandwiched this paste between two layers of fabric to create a waterproof surface that could get wet on the outside but kept the wearer dry. Macintosh got his indigenous invention patented in 1823. These days, any type of raincoat is commonly called a “Mac”.
And to honour this legendary chemist for his amazing invention, tech giant Google created a doodle that shows ‘Macintosh enjoying a Scottish rain shower whilst testing his ingenious invention’.