Did you know? Umbrellas were not originally used for rainy days

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Did you know? Umbrellas have only been used for rain protection for a few hundred years, and were previously used strictly for sun protection or as a fashion statement. With April coming, you’re bound to hear the phrase “April showers bring May flowers!” An abundance of warm spring rain means people will be breaking out their umbrellas more frequently in the next month.

Umbrellas are undoubtedly one of the most innovative inventions of all time, effectively protecting the user from the sun, rain, snow, and other forms of inclement and harmful weather. The first known use of umbrellas stems back to Ancient China around 210 B.C. Most umbrellas, or parasols, were used by women or by the aristocracy as a fashion statement. These umbrellas protected users from the sun and not much else due to their thin, flimsy construction.

This trend continued until the mid-to-late 1700s when people in Paris, France started using umbrellas for heavy rain protection. Both men and women utilized the umbrellas throughout the city, keeping themselves dry in the spring and summer times. In the early 1900s, pocket and folding umbrellas started appearing, much like those used today. Nowadays, umbrellas can be used for virtually any type of weather protection while walking, golfing, and much more.