Like Lillian Brown, I share a deep appreciation for the seemingly mundane object that we know as the umbrella.
I have always liked umbrellas, but they became significant to my life on a rainy NYC night seven years ago. It is thanks to a large black and white umbrella that I started talking to a handsome man. Nine months later he proposed and now is my best friend, husband and father of my two kids.
Yes, umbrellas are dear to my heart. In fact, I have developed quite an obsession, which shows in the umbrella category on my blog. Being a designer I take great interest in new designs and interpretations of umbrellas; take the hands-free umbrella that creates a cocoon for you, or the polite umbrella, the stylish and futuristic looking aerodynamic umbrella or the fantastic biodegradable umbrella. These are just a few examples of the many inventive variations that can be found.
Researchers seem to argue of the exact origin of where umbrellas were first invented. Some believe that it was China, yet others attribute it to the Egyptians using a device similar to an umbrella. Though researchers do agree that umbrellas have been around for a few thousand years, it's the Chinese that took the umbrella to the next level by waterproofing their parasols and therefore creating the first “rain” umbrella.
What I find interesting is that in ancient times, only royalty used them. Umbrellas then gradually evolved as acceptable items for ladies to use. It wasn’t until the mid-eighteenth century that men really started publicly using the umbrella.
Today, the umbrella is an everyday object that we tend to take for granted. Umbrellas are the simplest and most mobile form of shelter and they don't earn the respect they deserve. Next time you grab an umbrella, pay attention to how it works, and how it was made. Give it the attention and respect it deserves. And, in case you're single, don't forget that they might be the key to meeting the love of your life.