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When Were Umbrellas First Used?

Umbrella-like items have been depicted in sculptures from Ancient Egypt and Persia, but may also have been used in China over 3000 years ago. They may have been a symbol of nobility, as protection from the sun was a privilege of the wealthy and powerful. The exact point when the umbrella was invented is not known, but what is known is that they were originally intended to be used as protection from the sun, rather than from the rain.

Umbrellas have been used in various forms over the years, and were particularly popular in the 17th and 18th century in Paris. The modern telescopic folding umbrella was invented in 1928.

More about umbrellas:

  • In the United States, about $350 million is spent on umbrellas each year.

  • The word "umbrella" is thought to have come from the Latin word "umbra" which means shade or shadow.

  • Georgi Markov, a Bulgarian dissident, was killed by an assassin wielding a poison-tipped umbrella in 1978. The deadly umbrella is believed to have been developed by the KGB.

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