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Google on Monday paid homage to the Scottish inventor Charles Macintosh, creator of the iconic Mackintosh waterproof raincoat. The search giant created an animated Doodle in celebration of his 250th birthday. While waterproof raincoats might not sound terribly groundbreaking in 2016, Macintosh’s invention of a water-resistant fabric in 1823 was nothing short of revolutionary.
Macintosh was experimenting with naphtha, an oily by-product of tar, when he made a chance discovery that would redefine the way people dressed forever. By sandwiching a layer of liquid rubber (made with naphtha) between two layers of fabric, Macintosh created a new material that would be resistant to water while also remaining flexible and wearable.
The Mackintosh or ‘Mac’ remains a wardrobe staple for many people. Though the styles may have changed since the early 19th century, the iconic Mac remains, in essence, the same. Mackintosh still produce coats with a surprisingly simple process that uses the same technology as the original Mackintosh coat.