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What is the difference in a market umbrella and a crank umbrella?

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Quick Answer

A market umbrella is a much larger version of a rain umbrella or a parasol, usually with a wooden handle, that raises and lowers in a similar way. A crank umbrella is stationary ? it is usually anchored in a table, for instance ? and this type of umbrella spreads open using a crank.

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Market umbrellas developed as a style of shelter in Italy and France. Originally, they were made of crossed wooden sticks and covered with cloth to be used as sun shades and rain shelters while selling goods in a market. Today, larger versions of market umbrellas are used on patios, in open-air markets and as d?cor in stores, restaurants and bars. When designed as a beach umbrella, the pole has a spiked end that makes it easier to anchor into the sand.

A crank umbrella, also called a patio umbrella, is developed to provide more permanent outdoor shade. Made from aluminum, fiberglass or wood, a crank umbrella is large and usually heavy; it is typically designed to be mounted and left in place. Because this type of umbrella is bulky, its crank makes opening and closing more convenient. In terms of size and shape, market umbrellas and crank umbrellas can be nearly identical.

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