Who Invented Umbrellas?


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E Jacobson answered
Umbrellas have been around since 1400 BC, some 3400 years, so there are no historical records of who actually 'invented' them. Originally the umbrella was used in Mesopotamia. It was a rather crude device, made from palm leaves, feathers and stretched papyrus (a reed like plant). It was devised not to protect people from rain or snow, but as a sunscreen/shade.
Hence its name, which is derived from the Latin and actually means 'little shade' .
Its use was a sign of high social status and rank. Often only the highest standing people were allowed to use an umbrella. This was because it was said to be reminiscent of the Egyptian goddess Nut, whose body formed the sky. So umbrellas could only be held over the heads of nobility. To be invited to stand under an umbrella was a great honour, since it was believed the shade offered divine protection.

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