29/12/2018
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Scottish inventor Charles Macintosh was born - On this day in history

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Charles Macintosh, inventor of the waterproof fabric used in Macintosh raincoats, was born on 29 December 1766. Macintosh was born in Glasgow and began his working life as an office clerk before leaving to study the manufacture of chemicals.

By the age of twenty, Macintosh was working as a chemist and experimented with combining tar and naphtha to create a robust and waterproof material.

The fabric that he invented (which was famously made into Mackintosh raincoats) was created by cementing two thicknesses of India rubber together. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society for this invention in 1823 and later in his career, became involved in the development of hot blast blowing in blast furnaces, along with fellow industrialist James Beaumont Neilson.

Charles Macintosh died on 25 July 1843 and is buried in Glasgow Cathedral churchyard.

 

History Scotland magazine

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