China is believed to be the home to umbrellas, which are still widely used in the country. The earliest umbrellas are known to have existed at least two thousand years ago, first made of silk and later paper. The Chinese waxed and lacquered their paper parasols because oil repels water. In ancient times, the frames of the umbrellas were made of mulberry bark or bamboo.
Then umbrellas spread west. The early European umbrellas were made of wood or whalebone and covered with alpaca or oiled canvas. The artisans made the curved handles for the umbrellas out of hard woods like ebony, and were well paid for their efforts. The first all umbrella shop was called “James Smith and Sons”. The shop opened in 1830, and is still located at 53 New Oxford St., in London, England.
In 1852, Samuel Fox invented the steel ribbed umbrella design. Fox also founded the “English Steels Company”, and claimed to have invented the steel ribbed umbrella as a way of using up stocks of farthingale stays- steel stays used in women’s corsets.
After that, compact collapsible umbrellas were the next major technical innovation in umbrella manufacture, over a century later.
Shanghai metal manufactures the phosphorised steel wire used in the current production of umbrellas. With advanced processing facilities, we make sure it’s long-lasting. To find out more, please visit our website, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
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Siobhan R.// SMC Editor