The Mackintosh story takes place on the cobbled streets of Glasgow in the early 1800s. Tired of getting soaked every other day, a young clerk named Charles Mackintosh set about trying to find a way to make jackets that didn’t let rain through. As a keen amateur scientist, he soon found that by coating cotton with dissolved rubber, a waterproof cloth could be made, and thus, the Mackintosh was born.

These early waterproof coats didn't last long before they started to whiff a bit in winter, and melt in the summer, so with the help of a fabric-mastermind named Hancock, Mackintosh patented a method for vulcanising rubber. The vulcanising process is probably a bit too scientific to go into right now, but it basically involves dissolving rubber with sulfur to make a more stable material.

Whether you’re interested in the finer points of rubber polymer conversion or not, you can’t deny the Mackintosh overcoat is definitely worthy of a place in the outerwear hall of fame. And if you’re after something a bit lighter, they also make some rather great non-rubber jackets too. Sleek, slick and super smart, these are just the thing for waltzing around town pretending you’re a piano mover.

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