Biography of Charles MacIntosh
Charles MacIntosh, known for the invention of the mackintosh raincoat, was born in 1766 and studied at the University throughout his life. Charles was the son of George MacIntosh, a merchant from the Highlands who founded George MacIntosh & Co dyeworks. He was a successful business man before he was twenty years old and started the first alum works in Scotland.
MacIntosh obtained a patent for the process of waterproofing fabric with a layer of rubber in 1823. With Thomas Hancock he established a manufacturing business based in Glasgow and Manchester that would see its products used in Arctic expeditions. In 1824 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society
Whilst MacIntosh worked ceaselessly as a business man he also studied at the University of Glasgow. Interestingly he attended classes at the same time as his son, George. Indeed for Charles, his age was never a factor in the continuation of learning. He attended classes in Natural Philosophy with William Meikleham in 1805 and Chemistry with Thomas Thomson when he was in his fifties.
Although Charles MacIntosh is known for the coat that bears his name, his tireless work in science, particularly industrial chemistry, should also be remembered.