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Taking Cover

Editor-in-chief, gerontologist

The basic template for the rain umbrella came from parasols designed to block the sun from touching the pale skin of royalty in Egypt. The first use of parasols for rain protection was in China and these were made out of leather for nobility. When they showed up in Europe, rain umbrellas were mostly used by wealthy females. For many years it was considered a female accessory. It wasn’t until the 18th century in England that men began to carry umbrellas. It became an essential addition for both men and women


While the structural design of the classic umbrella has been the same for thousands of years, new styles have emerged. The 1970s introduced the bubble umbrella. This was a clear see-thru design with a modern look. The invention of the automatic umbrella allowed uses to be able to open their umbrella with one hand. This was a godsend to anyone having to carry work files, groceries or small children. Smaller pocket umbrellas became popular and great for students to throw in a backpack or women to toss in a purse. The new styles are reverse-opening umbrellas which unfasten from the top down allowing the water to be trapped within the cone. This is especially genius when getting in and out of a car. You are no longer dripping the water onto you and all your belongings!

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Cynthia Lopinto

Cyn LoPinto, M.A. is a gerontologist focusing on significant issues affecting older adults and their families. Her areas of interest include lifestyle enrichment, family dynamics, and caregiver support. Cyn has worked in both the recreational and healthcare industries.

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