Today, on Thursday, Google has a new doodle. Marking the 250th birthday of Charles Macintosh, Google has dedicated an animated doodle on its homepage. He is the inventor of waterproof material.
The doodle shows an illustration of Macintosh standing in a raincoat and rain droplets bouncing off him. The Doodle does not appear in South America, South East Asia, Oceania, Africa and China.
He was employed as a clerk who was an accomplished chemist in his spare time. He was known for his successful innovations and inventing various new processes in the field of Chemistry. He had worked with metals and dyes. One of his experiments led to the invention of waterproof fabrics.
The world would remember him for his most popular invention ‘Macintosh raincoat’.
His habit of experimenting with various chemicals, made him realize that naphtha, a byproduct of tar, could easily be dissolved in India rubber. This mixture resulted in formation of a paste which had the ability to repel water. By inserting the coating between two pieces of cloth, Mr Macintosh was able to create a fabric that, while the outside could get wet, would protect the wearer from water.
In 1823, Charles was granted a patent on the waterproof fabric. The same year, he was also elected as a fellow of the Royal Society for his various chemical discoveries.
Tailors wanted nothing to do with the new material, so Macintosh set up his own factory in 1863 in Glasgow. He later moved to Manchester in 1840 to make the most of the material further.
The company was acquired by the clothing company Thomas Hancock, which had already been experimenting with rubber based waterproof fabrics. After acquisition by Thomas Hancock, the coats based on the new fabric started being made all over England.
Called as Mackintoshes, or Macs, the coats were supplied to the British Army, British Railways and the police forces.
This invention was a boon to many as Scotland is known for its sudden downpours and continuous rainfall. At the time in which this invention was made, people in Scotland oiled their fabrics to make them waterproof. This process was both difficult, as it made the clothing heavy and foul smelling. Macintosh’s combination of natural rubber with naphtha gave a much more convenient option which has been redesigned into various products today.
The company was later acquired by Dunlop Rubber, traditional weatherwear, and is now owned by Japanese company Yagi Tsusho. Mackintosh now makes high end apparel and accessories.
Charles Macintosh died in 1843 at Dunchattan, Scotland and was buried in the churchyard of Glasgow Cathedral. His name is added to the impressive 17th century monument which stands again the eastern boundary wall.