Here's how long the umbrella has been around

It's a lot longer than you might think

(AP Photo/Vincent Yu) (Associated Press)

ORLANDO, Fla. – They can be big or small, clear or fun colors, decorated with bright patterns or even sport logos. That's right we're talking about the umbrella.

On a gloomy day like the ones we see in Central Florida, many people sport their favorite rainy day accessory, but did you know the umbrella has been around for over 4,000 years? 

Yes, you read that correctly: 4,000 years. According to the Farmer's Almanac, ancient civilizations near China and Egypt used umbrellas to shield royalty from the sun.

Umbrellas constructed of feathers, leaves, paper and even silk were oiled down to make them waterproof. The ribs and handles were made from cane and even whalebone. Fast forward to 2019 and the ribs are made of steel while the rest is synthetic fibers.  

The first shop to sell an umbrella was James Smith and Sons, which opened in 1830 in London and still operates today. It of course offers umbrellas, but walking sticks and other accessories have also been added, according to the website. 

So there ya have it. Next time rain comes knocking on the roof, just know the umbrella has had you covered for more than 4,000 years and counting. 

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