While Charles Macintosh was no fashion designer, his single innovation changed the clothes we wear forever. In 1823, while experimenting with rubber, Macintosh, a Scottish chemist, stumbled upon the world’s first completely waterproof material. Created by joining two fabrics together with liquid rubber, the material was entirely sealed, preventing any precipitation from seeping through. Calling the material “rubberized cloth,” Macintosh founded his eponymous company and began producing waterproofed versions of traditional British riding coats. These jacket’s were unlike anything else on the market, simultaneously offering two things that were previously unimaginable together – dryness and comfort. Throughout the rainy United Kingdom, Macintosh’s jackets practically sold themselves, and pretty soon the company had to change up in order to meet demand.
Oh yeah it's taped buddy.
In 1830, Charles Macintosh and Co. merged with Thomas Hancock, a Manchester based inventor who was also studying rubberized materials. Using their combined expertise, the two men perfected the all weather jacket and Mackintosh became the official supplier of the British Army, railways, and police department. Mackintosh continued to produce their rubberized jackets throughout the 19th and 20th century but by that point the original patent’s had expired and nearly every company on the planet had their version of the “mac coat.”
Production waned over several decades and by the 1990′s Mackintosh had been bought and sold numerous times and was on the brink of bankruptcy. As a final effort to save the company they began rebranding themselves as high-end heritage brand, collaborating with luxury brands such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton. By combining Charles’ original methods with contemporary designs, Mackintosh used 19th century innovation to create the ultimate modern raincoat.