The parts of an umbrella include: the handle, tip cup, ferrule, stretcher, shaft, bottom spring, center spring, top spring, canopy, runner, tube, rib, top notch and open cap. The existence of umbrellas has been found in evidence dating back to the 11th century B.C. in China, Egypt and India.
Umbrellas are used for various purposes such as shielding people from sun or rain; in photography, where they are used as light reflectors; in religious ceremonies; as a weapon of assault; and for protection against possible attackers. Due to their light weight, umbrellas inspired the development of convertible umbrellas in architectural designs.