* Marlborough, Wiltshire, 8. May 1786
† London, 26. March 1865
Thomas Hancock’s discovery that rubber becomes plastic and easily formed when calendered (masticated) made its industrial use possible. On the basis of the vulcanisation process developed by Goodyear, he concentrated primarily on the development of rubber processing machines. Both of them filed a vulcanisation patent application. In a subsequent patent dispute, priority was assigned to Goodyear. Together with the Scottish chemist Charles Macintosh (1766-1843), Hancock developed rubber solutions for the impregnation of textiles, such as raincoats – which became known as Mackintoshes.
For further reading:
Slack, Charles: Noble Obsession: Charles Goodyear, Thomas Hancock, and the Race to Unlock the Greatest Industrial Secret of the Nineteenth Century, Hyperion Press; 1st Edition (August 2002).