For centuries, umbrellas have been used to protect people from the sun and rain. Today, they come in all shapes and sizes, and are made from a variety of materials – everything from frilly wedding umbrellas to stylish tartan umbrellas for something different. But how did they come to be? Let’s take a look at the history of umbrellas, from their earliest beginnings to the modern-day versions we know and love today.
The Earliest Umbrellas
Believe it or not, the first umbrellas date all the way back to over 4000 years ago in ancient Egypt. They were made from palm leaves or papyrus reeds, and were used to provide shade from the sun’s harsh rays. Over time, umbrellas began to be decorated with colourful fabrics and jewelled handles, becoming a status symbol for the wealthy elite.
Umbrellas in China
The Chinese were the first to use umbrellas for protection from the rain. These early umbrellas were made from oiled paper or silk, and were supported by bamboo or wooden frames. In the 12th Century, Chinese umbrella-makers began using whalebone or horn in place of bamboo, making them much sturdier and more durable.
Umbrellas in Europe
Umbrellas didn’t make their way to Europe until the 17th century, where they were initially used only by women of means. It wasn’t until the 18th Century that men began carrying umbrellas as well. However, they quickly gained popularity, and by 1800 there were dozens of umbrella-makers in London alone. The first collapsible umbrellas were invented in England in 1830, making them much more convenient to carry around.
Today’s umbrellas are made from a variety of materials, including nylon, polyester, cotton, and even leather. They come in all shapes and sizes, and can be found for just about any budget. Whether you’re looking for a simple rain umbrella or a fashionable statement piece, there’s sure to be an umbrella out there that’s perfect for you!
From their humble beginnings as palm leaves or papyrus reeds propped up with sticks, umbrellas have come a long way over the past 4000 years
Today’s umbrellas are strong, sturdy, and come in a wide range of styles to suit any taste. So next time you’re caught in a downpour or trying to stay cool on a sunny day, remember – you have millennia of history on your side!