Charles Macintosh, Scottish industrial chemist and inventor, c 1820.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving. In 1823 Macintosh (1766-1843) succesfully produced the first waterproof cloth when he bonded together two pieces of woollen cloth with a solution of disolved india-rubber. The proces was patented that year and Macintosh set about producing waterproof garments at a factory in Manchester. Early difficulties with the rubber were largely overcome with the invention of vulcanisation in the late 1830s, and the waterproof overcoat soon became known as the 'mackintosh'.