April Showers! Whilst the southern half of the United Kingdom has been enjoying summer-like weather, here in Scotland, it’s been April showers all the way so far for the start of British Summer Time. After putting the clocks forward we love the thought of lighter nights, and better weather. So far we’ve hardly had either!
April showers look set to stay for at least a few days more, so maybe time to invest in a new umbrella?
Did you know the umbrella dates back to ancient times? In written records, the oldest reference to a collapsible umbrella dates to the year 21 A.D., when Chinese ruler Wang Mang had one designed for a ceremonial four-wheeled carriage.
Umbrellas, clockwise, from bottom left: Bailey & Quinn bird print umbrella, £14.40, Debenhams, polka dot umbrella, £5.99, H&M, Hello Kitty umbrella, £12, Claire’s Accessories, clear dome umbrella, £15, Totes @ Debenhams, NIght Owl print umbrella, £12, BHS, navy stripe umbrella, £14.95, GAP
The 2nd century commentator Fu Qian added that this collapsible umbrella of Wang Mang’s carriage had bendable joints which enabled them to be extended or retracted.
However it took until around the 1700s for the Europeans to catch on to this trend. Umbrellas being used for rain and sun (then they are more commonly known as parasols) was seen in France, and the UK followed suit.
Umbrellas, clockwise, from top left: Russian doll umbrella, £7, BHS, leopard print umbrella, £12, JOY, leopard print umbrella with a frill, £9, Claire’s Accessories, polka dot frilled umbrella, £9.99, New Look, large leopard print umbrella, £5.99, H&M, floral print umbrella, £7.99, New Look
The modern umbrella as we know it first appeared around 1928 – Hans Haupt’s pocket umbrellas appeared. And in 1969, Bradford E Phillips, the owner of Totes Incorporated of Loveland, Ohio obtained a patent for the first “working folding umbrella”.
Now you can get them in all shapes and sizes, perfect for April showers – and the all-year round showers we sometimes seem to get! Large, small, polka dot, leopard print, novelty, frilled, see-through, floral – you name it there’s an umbrella with it!
Of course, in windy Edinburgh, sometimes a hat or a hood is better than an umbrella – or a brolly, as we more commonly know them!
Please note that we always endeavour to feature items that are available in Ocean Terminal, however sometimes items featured may be out of stock, and prices may vary due to seasonal reduction