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Antique Golf Clubs from Scotland
Charles Macintosh & Co
Charles Macintosh & Co Charles Macintosh & Co may have been the most famous rubber company in the world given that its founder gave his name (Mackintosh with a “k”) to the famous raincoat his discovery that coal-tar naptha dissolved rubber (when exploring uses for gaswork waste products) led to. Macintosh had already made a sizable fortune out of other clever bits of chemistry, Scotland’s first alum works and dry bleach for example, so probably did not care too much that the factory he opened in Manchester to produce rubberized cotton was not particularly profitable. It was only with the involvement of Thomas Hancock, father of the British rubber industry and the eventual merger of his and the Macintosh company that it really took off in the 1830s.

At the beginning of the 20th century it became involved in making golf balls, very much as a sideline (the advertisement is from 1904). There was a fire at the factory in 1907 and the company used its relationship with the local press to reassure golfers that, not only had the golf ball department not been damaged, but that they had improved the ball’s tendency to lose paint and that it would not now chip easily.

In 1908 they announced The Duke, ‘a very much superior ball to the original “Macintosh”’. There was a core inside the ball with a hole in the centre and grooves around the edges. The size of the core was reduced and the hole size doubled to ¼”.

I have not seen mention of them making any balls after this. The company was bought by Dunlop in 1925. Production moved to a new factory in Brook Street and the original factory, in Cambridge Street, was destroyed in WWII.

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