OC­TO­BER 12, 1824

The Sunday Post (Dundee) - - Relax -

Of all the in­cred­i­ble in­ven­tions to come out of Scot­land, you could ar­gue the Mack­in­tosh rain­coat is the most ap­pro­pri­ate.

Its wa­ter­proof ma­te­rial was per­fected by Scot­tish chemist Charles Mac­in­tosh, and he is said to have sold his first rain­coat on Oc­to­ber 12, 1824.

His in­ven­tion came about while the chemist was ex­per­i­ment­ing with waste prod­ucts from coal-gas works in Glas­gow.

Mac­in­tosh de­vel­oped a tech­nique first tri­alled by Ed­in­burgh sur­geon and chemist, James Syme, which sand­wiched two sheets of cloth with a so­lu­tion of dis­solved In­dian rub­ber to cre­ate a wa­ter­proof fab­ric.

He of­fi­cially stamped his name on the prod­uct with a pa­tent in June 1823.

But Mac­in­tosh’s in­ven­tion was met with scep­ti­cism from tai­lors in Glas­gow, so his first sale wasn’t ac­tu­ally to the public, but the Royal Navy.

Ex­plorer John Franklin and his crew were out­fit­ted with the ma­te­rial dur­ing their ex­plo­ration of the Arc­tic, in 1824.

The rea­son for the ad­di­tional “k” is still un­known, but it’s be­lieved the re­peated mis­spelling of the in­ven­tor’s sur­name meant “Mack­in­tosh” has stuck to the present day.

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