In 1823, while trying to find uses for the waste products of gasworks, Macintosh noted that naphtha - one of the by-products of tar – was able to dissolve India rubber.
Taking the rubber coating and placing it between two pieces of wool cloth, he was able to create a fabric that could get wet on the outside, but protect the wearer from water.
On what have been his 250th birthday, he has now been honoured with his own Google Doodle.
He was born in Glasgow in 1766 and, though he started life as a clerk, he was a keen chemist in his spare time and resigned his clerkship to take up the manufacture of chemicals.
Dispassionately, I analyse the sensation of sore toes. In 1955, the film star rode the New York subway, unnoticed by her fellow passengers because, she explained, she had chosen to adopt “Baker” mode.He patented his invention in 1824, after which factories began to produce the new "Mackintosh" – now spelt with a "k" – fabric.However, it suffered from a number of teething problems.In the process of stitching the garments tailors puncture the fabric allowing the rain to get in.They also became stiff in winter and sticky in hot weather.