Jonas Hanway who died on September 5, 1786, was well-know in several British spheres — a vice president of the Foundling Hospital, founder of Magdalen Hospital, revolutionizing London birth registration and in charge of “victuallizing” the Navy. On the other hand, he was also known for tirades against tipping and tea-drinking and his support for the concept of solitary confinement.

But what he is most remembered for is bringing the umbrella to Britain. Now the umbrella had been around for a long time. It was invented in China back in the 11th century B.C. It was popular in Greece and Egypt as a sunshade. It was also used in Rome, but when the empire declined and fell, so did use of the umbrella. It was finally reintroduced in the 15th century, and by the 17th century had become quite popular among sophisticated women in France and even some British women. But a man?

Hanway is credited with being the first male Londoner to carry an umbrella, much to the chagrin of hackney coachmen who thought it their proprietary right to protect Londoners from rainfall. For years, they jeered at him with vigor as being a feminine sissy and even worse, a French sissy. But by the time of his death, umbrellas were commonplace throughout London.

Brolliology is of course the study of umbrellas. Of course. Does anyone actually know a brolliologist? What inspires someone to become one? What are their conventions like? We will study the umbrella a little further on September 7, the date of another noted umbrella in history.

Tango Pirates Sporting Umbrellas?

As America roared through the 20s, Hollywood’s fledgling film industry was itself roaring, the screen filled with stars such as Charlie Chaplin, Rudolph_ValentinoDouglas Fairbanks, Greta Garbo, and the roaring MGM lion. Come 1926, a new star would jump to the top of the heap, blazing a trail of sex and seduction. It almost didn’t happen.

Italian born Rodolfo Alfonso Rafaello Pierre Filibert Guglielmi di Valentina D’Antonguolla arrived at Ellis Island in 1913, at the age of 18. The young man who would eventually be known as the Latin Lover Rudolph Valentino took up residence in Central Park and on the streets of New York City. He found work as a taxi dancer at Maxim’s and became a”tango pirate,” a gigolo who sought out wealthy women at dances who were willing to pay for the company of handsome young men.

Valentino developed a relationship with a Chilean heiress who was unhappily married to a wealthy businessman. When she sued for divorce in 1915, Valentino testified that he had evidence of the husband’s having had multiple affairs. The ex-husband didn’t let bygones be bygones and on September 5, 1916, at his instigation, Valentino was arrested and charged with luring a young man into a whorehouse for white slavery. Valentino was jailed for several days before being cleared and released. A short time later the heiress shot her husband and Valentino thought it wise to exit the scene. He headed to the opposite coast and began his meteoric rise to stardom.

Inspirational Quote for 9/5/16



2 thoughts on “Sept 5, 1786: Watch it with that Thing, You’ll Poke Someone’s Eye Out

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