Rubber in its natural state is a nasty and almost useless substance, but in 1823 a Scottish chemist name Charles MacIntosh filed for a patent on a method for making waterproof fabric using rubber. However, early rubber products would become brittle in cold weather, and would melt in hot weather. In 1835 a process was patented that the inventor thought would make rubber more useful. However, after two years, all the products made with the rubber formula turned to liquid and stank so bad they had to be buried. Thirty five year old Charles Goodyear bought a rubber lifepreserver made from this rubber, and designed an improved valve for holding air for it, and then learned that the rubber itself was faulty.
With no training in science or chemistry, he set out to improve it. Just when he thought he had improved rubber, his new formula rubber melted in the sun. Further hopeful successes were dashed by failure, and the cycle repeated many times, for about 5 years!! He eventually learned that certain sulphur containing substances helped the texture of rubber, and once he accidentally dropped a sample of sulphur treated rubber on a stove. Spots on the sample had superior characteristics of cold and heat resistance, and thus "vulcanized" rubber was born. Natural rubber, treated with sulphur and heat, resulted in rubber that could coat fabric and be made into useful waterproof objects. One of the main objects made with vulcanized rubber was water hoses, especially garden hoses. The Mac raincoat, however, gets its name from the Scottish inventor Charles MacIntosh, whose products greatly improved by the use of vulcanized rubber.