National Umbrella Day is celebrated across the nation each year on February 10th.
On this day, we honor one of the world’s most useful inventions, the umbrella! Not only does the umbrella help keep us dry from the rain, but it also protects us from the heat of the sun. Umbrellas can also be used as a fashion accessory.
- Umbrellas have been featured in many motion pictures, most notably: * Singing in the Rain – 1952; * Mary Poppins – 1964.
- The word umbrella comes from the Latin word umbra, meaning shade or shadow.
- Brolly is a slang word for umbrella, often used in Britain, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.
- Bumbershoot is a fanciful Americanism for an umbrella from the late 19th century.
- The basic umbrella was invented over four thousand years ago. There is evidence of umbrellas in the ancient art and artifacts of Egypt Assyria, Greece and China.
- It was the Chinese that first waterproofed umbrellas for use in the rain. They waxed and lacquered their paper parasols to protect them from the elements.
- One of the first umbrella shops in existence opened in 1830 at 53 New Oxford Street in London, England. James Smith and Sons operates regular hours at the same location still today.
- In 1928, Hans Haupt’s pocket umbrellas appeared.
- In 1969, Bradford E. Phillips, the owner of Totes Incorporated of Loveland, Ohio, obtained a patent for the first “working folding umbrella.”
- Umbrellas have also been fashioned into hats as early as 1880 and as recently as 1987.
- In photography, umbrellas with a reflective inside are used by photographers as a diffusion device when employing artificial lighting and as a glare shield and shade, most often in portrait situations.
- Umbrellas were the ancient equivalent of donning a pair of high heels—only women would use them, and they were a blatant symbol of femininity. In fact, in many ancient cultures, men brandishing umbrellas was a sign of effeminacy. And umbrellas were often associated with high fashion and wealth.
- The first man who publicly carried umbrella was Englishman Jonas Hanway. His influence finally introduced umbrella to male population of England, and soon after entire world.
- One city in China (Shangyu) has over a thousand umbrella factories. According to local estimates, about half a billion umbrellas, or 30% of China’s production, are made here yearly.
- One single worker makes about 300 umbrellas a day
- Umbrellas can be used as offensive and defensive weapon. French President Nicolas Sarkozy was first who started using Kevlar coated umbrella as a part of his security measures.
- Steel ribbed umbrellas were invented in 1852 by Samuel Fox.
- First working “folding umbrella” was introduced in 1969 by Bradford Philips.
- Over 33 million umbrellas are sold in United States each year.
- The umbrella cover museum in Maine boasts the largest collection of umbrella covers in the world. Nancy Hoffman is the curator and director of the Umbrella Cover Museum on Peaks Island in Maine, a 20 minute ferry ride away from Portland. Hoffman started her collection when she found a few stray umbrella sheaths in her house and stole another one from a department store, giving birth to her collection, which now numbers over 700.