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199th Anniversary of Mackintosh raincoats

On October 12, 1823, Scottish chemist Charles Macintosh sold the first raincoat.

Macintosh had been trying to find uses for the waste products of gasworks when he discovered that a substance called coal-tar naphtha dissolved India rubber — basically, bonding melted rubber to wool, which created a waterproof fabric. The first raincoats smelled bad, stiffened in cold weather, and gummed up in hot weather, but farmers, fishermen, and firemen loved them. They became so beloved in Great Britain that when referring to a raincoat, people simply asked for a “Mac” or a “Mack.”

https://scienceonstreets.phys.strath.ac.uk/new/Charles_MacIntosh.html

The manufacturing was done at a rubber factory in Manchester, but his gravesite is back at Glasgow Cathedral -- either spot worth a stop?

Posted by
9784 posts

Hmmmm..... I am supposed to be in Glasgow next week, I suppose I could go look!

Posted by
2532 posts

Does this post about Macks now mean that I'm obligated to look into the origins of Wellies?

Posted by
4252 posts

Are you going to Glasgow or this this just another fun post?

I didn't realize that Macintosh was buried at Glasgow Cathedral. We were there in June and the cathedral was nice but no need to go out of your way. The Necropolis on the hill behind the cathedral is a great walk. Some of the mausoleums are massive. The hilight of the day though was the Drygate Brewery on the other side of the Necropolis from the the cathedral. I know you’re more of an Amoretto Sour guy but the Peanut Butter Stout is outstanding. Cash only.

Posted by
7574 posts

The banker in Paul McCartney’s Penny Lane never wore a Mac in the pouring rain … very strange. I wonder if the banker ever changed his approach to wet weather?

I also wonder whether Charles Macintosh might’ve been buried in his namesake coat? As far as smelling bad, stiffening in the cold, or getting gummy in the hot, I suppose those wouldn’t have made much difference, or even been noticed at that point.

Posted by
323 posts

😊 love you Avirosemail for your thoughtful, cool and imaginative posts. Unfortunately I don’t have an answer for this one.. but looking forward to the replies!

Posted by
2532 posts

@Allan thanks for the Necropolis and Drygate Brewery pointers.
When I'm in those climes I lean towards something like a foamy Smithwick's red ale,
but I don't want to annoy the Scots with any Irish confusion.

Posted by
4252 posts

I think the only way you'll annoy the Scots is to say something nice about the English...

Posted by
1259 posts

And speaking of Scottish parrots, what do you call a Glaswegian parrot appropriately attired against the squawll in his miniature Mackintosh?

Polly-unsaturated.