33. Hunter Rainboots

Year Invented: 1856

Designer: Henry Lee Norris

In the 18th century, the Duke of Wellington instructed his shoemaker to create boots based on the Hessian Boot. This shoe became known as the Wellington (and later the Wellie). The style grew in popularity with patriotic British men. So it's no surprise that by 1852, when Hiram Hutchinson met Charles Goodyear, who had just invented the process to create vulcanization rubber, he would base his design for rubber boots on the Wellington. Hutchinson bough the patent and moved to France, where he set up shop under the name AIGLE. Because of the high population of farmers and laborers in the area, his rubber boots became a huge success, keeping the workers' feet dry while they toiled out in the field. The extreme functionality of the boots, and their popularity as work boots, lead them to be instated as a uniform requirement for the British Army in World War I (and later in World War II). The contract for this went to Henry Lee Norris's company, The North British Rubber Company (now Hunter Boot), who is the most popular manufacture of the iconic boots today.

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