Spring is right around the corner and that means plenty of rain showers in the coming months. Can you imagine if every time it rained you had to brave the elements, suck it up, and get wet in order to go outside?
The only reason that seems like such a preposterous idea is because the umbrella is more than 4,000 years old and has been perhaps the most common tool we use to shield ourselves from the rain ever since.
Umbrellas are so important to our lives that March has actually been designated as National Umbrella Month. To get in the spirit, Tristar Inc. Products review the invention of the umbrella and its evolution over thousands of years.
The earliest signs of umbrellas date back over 4,000 years ago. The ancient art and artifacts of Egyptian, Assyrian, Greek, and Chinese cultures all provide evidence of the first ever umbrellas, which were used to provide protection from the sun. The Chinese were the first to waterproof the umbrella and use it to shield from rain.
It wasn’t until the 16th century that the umbrella became a mainstream item in the western world, particularly in areas like northern Europe where rain is common. It was first used only as an accessory for women, but then a Persian traveler names Jonas Hanway popularized it for men after publicly carrying an umbrella around England for more than 30 years.
The first store solely dedicated to umbrellas was called “James Smith and Sons.” It opened in 1830 and is still located to this day in London, England. Early European umbrella design used wood or whalebone for the shaft and alpaca or oiled canvas for the canopy. The curved handles at the end were typically made of hard woods like ebony.
Samuel Fox invented the first steel ribbed umbrella in 1852. This helped lead to the innovation of the collapsible umbrella, which arrived about a century later. In 1928, a sculpture student in Vienna, Hans Haupt, invented the pocket umbrella, which became known as “Flirt” and was made by an Austrian company. By 1969, Totes Incorporated in Loveland, Ohio, patented the “working folding umbrella.”
Tristar Inc. Products review the invention and evolution of trending everyday items. To learn more about the next creation we write about, visit our blog again soon and look for the latest Tristar Inc. Products review.