Patent Fashions – Umbrella with windscreen 1930

U.S. Patent 1,774,909 for an umbrella ‘tent’ or windscreen was granted on Sept.2, 1930. The article gives credit to the woman, presumably in the picture, for coming up with the idea after walking into the street and being struck by an auto because she couldn’t see through her umbrella, but the patent is for a man’s name…perhaps her husband? 

About Jonathan

Jonathan Walford is a fashion historian and co-founder of the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario. The FHM maintains a collection of nearly 12,000 artifacts dating from the mid 17th century to the present. Jonathan has authored various books and museum catalogues, including The Seductive Shoe, Shoes A-Z, Forties Fashion, 1950s American Fashion, and Sixties Fashion.
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2 Responses to Patent Fashions – Umbrella with windscreen 1930

  1. When were the first see through umbrellas produced? I imagined it must have been around the 1950s, but this has made me wonder if they were around earlier.

    • Jonathan says:

      I have seen illustrations of see-through rain capes from the late 1930s/early 40s, so there may have been umbrellas that early too. PVC was invented in 1926 but there was no practicable commercial application found for it until the late 1930s but I don’t think the early see-thorugh plastic was PVC. I believe those see-through vinyl coats and umbrellas that were such a fad in 1966 (and afterwards) were PVC.

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