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