Umbrellas + Rain
Quite frankly, I’m sick of the rain. If I wanted to live in London, I would – so the rain we have been experiencing of late in Sydney is starting to get somewhat infuriating.
Australia, and particularly iconic Sydney (or Bondi) is known for its warm weather and stunning Summers. But unfortunately, the Summer season bridging 2011 and 2012 has been wet, umbrella intensive, plagued with dogs in raincoats and hipsters in their fathers’ oldest pair of gumboots.
So, Sydney – really – what gives?
The Spaniard (my eternal educator) is convinced this less than desirable Sydney weather is the blame of climate change and the La Niña effect.
EDUCATION BREAK OUT:
- La Niña is Spanish for the ‘little girl’ and is the counterpart of El Niño. It refers [bastard-ised definition ofcourse] to the increase in or probability of wetter conditions for a location.
- El Niño means ‘little boy’ in Spanish. In comparison to La Niña, it indicates an increase in dry, warm weather.
I however, am more concerned on how I will get to my next location dry, without ruining my recently died bright orange hair or causing my fake tan to streak. Which, brings me to the focus of this post. Umbrellas.
- Once upon a time, I thought I was too cool for umbrellas. Yes, I know – who would’a thought. But yes, I would walk home from school and refuse to use an umbrella. I would get home drenched to the bone and looking like a wet rat (or so my mum would exclaim) – happy as Larry that I managed to get home without the need of an umbrella.
- Fast forward 15 years, and here I am making sure I don’t leave the house without an umbrella if even one threatening cloud exists in the sky.
- Additionally, since the ‘umbrella’ ignited my fire – I’ve been causing havoc left, right and center. Why? Because I’m clumsy, I have no idea about space or how close you may be to me and I’m just plain, right crazy. So – I am a bit of an umbrella wielding nightmare when it rains. My suggestion to you – watch out.
So… while we use the ‘umbrella’ every day (or every day it rains) – who invented it and how did it come about? Stop you’re fretting, I’m here to tell you in simple, straight forward, #JustSayin language that I’m known for. Buckle your seat belts, you’re about to be rocked…
The History of the Umbrella
- Synonyms: brolly, parasol, parapluie, rainshade, sunshade, gamp, or bumbershoot.
- Slang: brolly or umby.
- Meaning: The word umbrella is derived from the Latin word, Umbra; meaning shade or shadow.
- The first umbrella type invention can be drawn back to over four thousand years ago, with evidence of umbrellas in the anticent art and artifacts of Egypt, Assyria, Greece and China.These ancient umbrellas, known better back then as parasols, were initially designed for the purpose of providing shade from the sun.
- The Chinese were the first to waterproof their umbrellas in the early 1800′s for use as rain protection. To do this, they waxed and lacquered their paper parasols to be used in the rain.
- The ‘umbrella’ was first made popular by Englishman, Jonas Hanway (1712-1786). Known for helping homeless children and prostitutes, Hanway broke social norms by carrying around with him in London his ‘portable roof’ despite public ridicule from 1770 presumed until his death in 1786.
- By 1788 the umbrella had become an accepted (or acceptable) accessory for both men and women.
The Umbrella Throughout History:
- In the 1800′s an umbrella weighed approximately 10 lbs. This was due predominately to the frame being consisted of wooden rods and whalebone
- The ‘pocket umbrella’ was not conceived until 1928 by Hans Haupt
- In 1969, Bradford E Phillips obtained a patent for the first ever ‘working folding umbrella’
- The umbrella is seen as a religious symbol within some faiths; particularly Catholic, Oriental Orthodox churches. In the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, umbrellas show honor to a person (for example, a bishop) or a holy object / symbol
- The umbrella was also utilised to disguise as a weapon in 1978 by the KGB. Bulgarian dissident writer, Georgi Markov was killed in London from being given a doce of ricin (a highly toxic, naturally occurring protein) injected via a modified umbrella
How to Score an Umbrella,
Without Needing to Buy an Umbrella
So, with all this rain – and wind – we’re all going through umbrellas like we do underwear. Here’s one way to ensure you’ll always have an umbrella.
On rainy nights or days – look under tables, at the side of rooms or the front door. There’s always some poor sod too fogetful or drunk to remember to take their umbrella home.
That umbrella sitting there, with noone owning it, is YOURS.
You can thank me later.