ON the anniversary of the rainiest day in the history of the UK, Google Doodle is celebrating Wellington boots, or “wellies,” a rainy day staple for centuries.
Over the course of 24 hours on this day in 2015, an area of Cumbria, England, recorded over 13 inches of rain. We take a look at the indispensable wet weather footwear and how exactly the welly got its name.
How did the Wellington boot get its name?
The waterproof boot got its name from the man who invented them, Arthur Wellesley, the First Duke of Wellington, in the early 1800s.
They evolved from modified army issue Hessian boots when the famed military leader asked his London cobbler to make a shorter boot that would be easier to wear with trousers.
He also requested a switch from polished to waxed calfskin leather, making it waterproof.
It was further revolutionised with the arrival of vulcanized rubber in the mid-19th century giving it even greater waterproof capabilities and making the welly a must-have for the often rainy British weather.
Who was Arthur Wellesley?
Arthur Wellesley was a soldier and statesmen in Britain most famous for his victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo.
He was born in Dublin into a wealthy Anglo-Irish aristocratic protestant family.
Starting as an ensign, formally the lowest office rank in the British Army, he served well in India and in the Napoleonic Wars.
During the Peninsular War, he reached the rank of Field Marshal.
He became a Duke when Napoleon was exiled to Elba.
He was Tory Prime Minister of the United Kingdom twice and one of the leading figures in the House of Lords until his retirement in 1846.
He remained Commander-in-Chief of the British Army until his death in 1852.
What does the Doodle show?
Matt Cruickshank created today’s Doodle, which shows the two O’s of the Google logo dancing in the rain.
The animated figures are, of course, wearing Wellington boots.
Matt said: “The wellie Doodle is a simple design—only the two O’s are moving. Sometimes, less is more.”
He added: “My approach was to try something lighthearted and capture the unadulterated fun of jumping in puddles, especially from having wellies myself as a childhood staple while growing up in England. Therefore, animation was a must!”
What is a Google Doodle?
In 1998, the search engine founders Larry and Sergey drew a stick figure behind the second ‘o’ of Google as a message to that they were out of office at the Burning Man festival and with that, Google Doodles were born.
The company decided that they should decorate the logo to mark cultural moments and it soon became clear that users really enjoyed the change to the Google homepage.
Now, there is a full team of doodlers, illustrators, graphic designers, animators and classically trained artists who help create what you see on those days.
Google kicked off 2019 with an animated Doodle of New Year’s Eve celebrations.
And on February 5, 2019, the Chinese New Year was celebrated with a hand animation transforming into a pig.