Model A Ford Club of America
Sacramento, California Chapter


As winter approaches, our thoughts often turn to inclement weather. To help keep us keep dry we find ourselves bundled up in galoshes, rain coats, and keeping at hand the ever present umbrella. In fact, the Sears, Roebuck & Co. Catalog for Fall/Winter 1929 has a variety to choose from, ranging in price from $1.00 for a basic “quality umbrella” up to $8.45 for an all silk parasol umbrella.

While the construction looks to be mostly the same, it appears the cost depends on the number of ribs in the frame (7, 10, or 16 ribs), the quality and type of fabric used, and the handle construction. The umbrellas range in size from 23 inches in diameter for the basic child’s umbrella up to 40 inches. However, the average size for most mid-priced and higher quality umbrellas is right around 33 to 35 inches in diameter. Another determining cost factor is the construction or detail of the umbrella handle. It seems that the typical men’s umbrella has the curved cane style handle, whereas the women’s umbrellas sport everything from enameled wood or intricately carved crystal figurines, to translucent “moon-glo” (I believe a type of plastic resin) with colored accents in enameled wood. Usually the tips and stub ends match the handle.

An umbrella is an umbrella, right? Any one will do for most of us. However, according to an article entitled, “Ready For Rain” by Marian Corey in the April 1931 Delineator, there are “a number of people walking around who are total umbrella blind.” In other words, they are carrying the wrong kind of umbrella to go with their outfit or the event they are attending. According to this article, there are “town umbrellas, dressy ones, country types, and sports types.” What follows are the picture and description of umbrella types and their uses.

Shown in the picture above:
From left to right: A tweed-handled umbrella in a tweed case is the country umbrella and perfect with the tweed raincoat. This striped umbrella is dressy—something you would carry to an afternoon of bridge.
The smartest sports umbrella is the slim, trim crook handle “rainstick.” The eyelet handle, often called a “Top-hole”. The short umbrella with a chromium ball handle is very “town-like” and would be perfect for that shopping trip into town.
Bottom: The “automobile umbrella” resides in a case that fastens by straps to the rug rail. It is a cotton umbrella with all its insides rust proof so it can be put away wet.So, as the weather turns cool and wet this season, take the blinders off and go out in style!

Peggy Gill