40. The Umbrella
- Time of Invention: Roughly 1400s B.C.
The first true umbrella is actually truly ancient Chinese technology, dating back 3,500 years ago. Of course, we have seen the people of China carry around umbrellas in ancient imagery, so it makes sense to see that they invented it.
The person responsible was a Chinese carpenter named Lu Ban. He had the idea after seeing children use lotus leaves as shelter from the rain. He felt he could make something similar by using his skills to invent something mobile that could last. This led him to use local wood and controllable, flexible cloth to make the first umbrella.