A Day in the Life of a Rain Umbrella

by | Nov 21, 2013 | Shopping

Recent Articles



‘Into every life a little rain must fall’ and most would agree with Longfellow’s sage words about the changing weather and its universal theme in regards to facing the unexpected events that often occur in life. But what about that essential little accessory? The humble rain umbrella? Most people probably own one or two, some are kept handy in the back trunk of cars or by the front door hall closet for those grayer mornings but the truth is, the rain umbrella has had an important, and times, even royal role throughout world history.

It is estimated that probably the first ‘umbrella’ probably had its earliest origins from China around the 11th Century, B.C. used primarily not to keep the rain off, but more so to keep the brilliant sunrays at bay. The word ‘umbrella’ comes from the Latin word, umbra which means ‘shade’. A similar word ‘parasol’ is also of Latin origins, again not in reference to the rain, rather papare which means ‘prepare’ and of course, sol which means ‘sun’. There are ancient paintings from Egyptian and Indian cultures with examples of these parasols shielding royal members from the sunrays. In Europe, umbrellas were generally frowned upon as frivolous and unbecoming (especially for men) and it was thought that since rain was a blessing from heaven, people shouldn’t avoid its sacred presence. However, by the 1700’s, both women and men used umbrellas, especially in rain-prone areas like London, England where the umbrella became a ubiquitous and essential tool.

Despite the hundreds of years since the rain umbrella’s first inception, the make and model is still relatively the same. In the 18th C., especially with parasols, the use of carved ivory with intricate patterns and lacy décor was highly popular with women. It wouldn’t be until the mid-1800’s that steel was used for the ribs, giving an umbrella its much sturdier construction and the more recognizable look of modern day rain umbrella. With its central shaft, handle and supporting ribs, the outward canopy is generally made of some type of water-resistant fabric or material. The user simply depresses the locking device, where the umbrella can be easily released, opening and closing easily generally with little effort on the user’s part. Just watch your fingers when opening to avoid that little pinch!

Though little has changed with the umbrella’s original design (it has been thought the basic umbrella was inspired by Mother Nature’s archetypical tree shape) people have avoided many a raindrop while under its protective u-shaped construction, watching as endless water drops fall off the pointed ends and far away from their much drier attire. Let the weather commence, as long as you have your trusty umbrella in hand.

A rain umbrella should be that essential part of everyone’s arsenal of weather-related items. Looking for a new one? A rain umbrella comes in functional and fashionable designs, don’t get caught in a downpour without one! Visit Website & view our collection of rain umbrellas.

Related Articles