05 December 2019 21:31
The video will start in 8 Cancel Get the biggest Daily News stories by email Subscribe Thank you for subscribing See our privacy notice Could not subscribe, try again later Invalid Email Click on the Google headline today and you'll see the browser's logo, with a bit of a twist. The red and yellow os of the logo are wearing wellington boots, and standing in a puddle of water. One tap of the logo will automatically search for the word – Wellies – but why? Today's Google Doodle celebrates Wellington boots, or "wellies" on the anniversary of the rainiest day in UK's history. In 2015 an area of the northwestern county of Cumbria, England, recorded over 34 centimetres (13 inches) of rain.
And what better way to commemorate this anniversary than with the trusty waterproof boot which has been a staple for centuries? (Image: Google Doodle) Wellington Boots were made popular by the First Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, in the early 1800s. Originally a leather Hessian boot, they were standard footwear for the cavalry, but over time became popular with civilians. Wellesley asked his London shoemaker to modify his boots to make them shorter so they would be easier to wear with trousers. He also asked to switch from polished to waxed calfskin leather – which made for a stylish waterproof boot. The shoemaker, George Hoby, was very proud of his achievement, and after finding out about the French defeat at Vittoria: "If Lord Wellington had any other bootmaker than myself, he never would have had his great and constant successes; for my boots and prayers bring his lordship out of all his difficulties." After the Battle of Vittoria, Wellington's fame inspired others to start wearing his style of boot, and they became known as "Wellingtons". In 1852 vulcanised rubber arrived, which was used for the manufacture of tyres. In 1856 the Edinburgh-based North British Rubber Company started manufacturing Britain's first rubber or "gum" boots. (Image: Getty) However, they did not become widespread until the First World War, when a company was commissioned to produce millions of pairs for soldiers. These were a must-have for the typical British weather, and soon they became popular across the world. Today wellies aren't used as much to prevent trench foot, but in everyday life to keep feet dry. They are especially great for children, who can jump in puddles all day with their colourful Wellington Boots.