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The History of Umbrellas

Did you know that the umbrella was invented over 4,000 years ago? Ancient art and artifacts from Egypt, Assyria, Greece, and China show evidence of these devices. But the earliest umbrellas weren’t used for protection from the rain – they were used for protection from the sun. The Chinese were the first to create rain umbrellas when they waxed and lacquered their paper parasols to make them water resistant. In the 16th century, umbrellas became popular in the West, but weren’t used among men until James Hanway started using one in England and kicked off a trend. For a while, gentlemen referred to their umbrellas as “Hanways.” The first umbrella shop opened in 1830 in London and was called James Smith and Sons – it still exists today. In 1852, Samuel Fox invented a new umbrella design that used steel ribs. In 1928, Hans Haupt invented the pocket umbrella. And today, umbrellas come in so many sizes and styles that you can find one that perfectly fits your needs and personality!

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