The History of Umbrellas: From Parasols to Logo Umbrellas

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Umbrellas are a staple in most people's homes, providing they live in a climate where it rains often. We use them to keep us dry in a downpour, or to provide shade from the sun. From the table umbrella in your backyard patio, to the logo umbrellas they give out at the baseball game, we have more use for them than we often think. But where did their origins start?

The basic umbrella is said to have first appeared over four thousand years ago. There's been evidence of umbrellas in Ancient Greece, Egypt, China, and even Assyria. It's been found in many Middle Eastern sculptures as well, so the idea goes back a very long way. These original umbrellas were created with a sole use of protection from the sun, something which later evolved to the large beach umbrellas of today.

The Chinese were the first to water proof umbrellas for rain and other precipitation. They lacquered and waxed their paper parasols so that rain would roll off them, instead of wetting and damaging them. It's said that in a Chinese book from 1270 CE featured a collapsible umbrella as well, just like the modern ones we use today.

The first all umbrella store was open in London, England in 1830. It was called James Smith and Sons, and is still located there today at 53 New Oxford Street. Since then many companies have been born that sell just umbrellas, most notably Totes, which is the largest Umbrella supplier in the world. In 1969 Brad Phillips obtained the first patent for a fold-able umbrella, which Totes then began selling in 1970.

Of course, the umbrella is used for much more than the rain and sun. It's also been used in many other ways. Many religious processionals include umbrellas in their rituals. Some cultures include them with costumes and traditional dances.

Umbrellas now come in a variety of sizes, from miniature umbrellas that fit in any handbag, to large golf umbrellas used on the golf course to help create shade, protect from the rain, and keep the sun out of the players' eyes. Bubble umbrellas came about with a unique shape, one that comes further down around a person as to protect them from rain on all side.

And more recently there have been imprinted umbrellas. These have everything from a variety of designs both outside and inside the umbrella, as well as company logo umbrellas that are used for promotional means.

So the next time it's raining out and you grab your umbrella, realize it's an idea that has been around for thousands of years that happened to stand the test of time.

------ is a company umbrella wholesaler. Whether your looking for umbrellas with logo, custom umbrellas, personalized umbrellas or promotional umbrellas we've got you covered.

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