I don't know about you, but I am unimpressed by the weather this month. I often walk to work and this week that has involved soggy feet, wet hems and fancy footwork as I leap away from the curb to avoid lorries splashing me as they charge through puddles. So much for summer! At least the inventing community has been hard at work finding ways to help us with this age-old problem. Wikipedia tells me that the first collapsible umbrella in China was recorded in AD 21, designed to be attached to a ceremonial carriage. Similar inventions can be found in the Middle East, India, ancient Greece and Rome but not, interestingly, in Western Europe where apparently we relied on cloaks to keep us dry.
Fast-forward to 2017, however, and we have lots of options! Recent inventors looking to improve on umbrellas include this inventor with his Kazbrella that doesn't drip on the floor when you fold it up; this guy with his complicated-looking shoulder-harness umbrella (I shouldn't laugh, his Kickstarter got more than 100% funding...) and, the perennial favourite, the umbrella hat.
My very favourite idea though, is the one in the video attached to this post. Such perky music! Such cheerful looking models! And an idea not dissimilar to one that Douglas had many years ago when he was messing around with his sketchpad one day:
It's hard to see (there'll be a much better picture in the book!) but it shows a person in a long poncho with a screen complete with windscreen washer and the legend: it may look stupid but you'll be the one laughing when you're warm and dry. He's got a point. Now, how do I get my hands on one of those umbrella raincoats?
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