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national-umbrella-day-february-10National Umbrella Day is celebrated across the nation each year on February 10th.

On this day, we honor one of the world’s most convenient inventions, the umbrella!   Not only does the umbrella help keep us dry from the rain, 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:

* Singin” in the Rain – 1952           * Mary Poppins – 1964

Interesting Umbrella TidBits:

The word umbrella comes from the Latin word umbra, meaning shade or shadow.  Brolly is a slang word for umbrella, used often in Britain, New Zealand, Australia  and South Africa.  Bumbershoot is a fanciful Americanism, for 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 in order to use them for rain.

The first of all umbrella shops was called “James Smith and Sons”.  The shop opened in 1830, and is still located at 53 New Oxford Street in London England.

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.

Umbrellas are used 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.