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June 28, 2014 4:27 AM   Subscribe

Francesco Maglia: The Umbrella Maker Of MilanThe Maglia family have been partners with the rain since 1854, when they began producing umbrellas in Milan. Here's our portrait of Francesco Maglia.
posted by cenoxo (16 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
The History of Umbrellas.
posted by cenoxo at 4:35 AM on June 28, 2014


"Francesco, who has just turned seventy, is the fifth Maglia to carry on the name of company founder." very aristocratic the notable people in Europe who are at the level of nobility still carry on their family empires.
posted by FrankNella at 5:15 AM on June 28, 2014


Singin' in the Rain (1952) by Gene Kelly: history, lyrics.
posted by cenoxo at 5:34 AM on June 28, 2014


I thought their business folded?
posted by fairmettle at 5:57 AM on June 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


Their website is pretty compact, true, but they look like they're open for business: Ombrelli Maglia.
posted by cenoxo at 6:11 AM on June 28, 2014


If my memory is not deciving me, yep it is still there
posted by thegirlwiththehat at 8:56 AM on June 28, 2014


The Maglia family have been partners with the rain since 1854, when the first Francesco Maglia began producing umbrellas by hand in Pavia. At the time it was the only way to do it. It was a different world.

That's beautiful. Nearly feels like the beginning of a magic realism novel. As if Gabriel Garcia Marquez visited Italy and kept a journal.
posted by Spatch at 9:26 AM on June 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


I can now comfortably reveal my obsession with well-made umbrellas. The current one has been with me for 25 years and still works beautifully, even down here in squall land.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 10:14 AM on June 28, 2014


I thought their business folded?

They always manage to expand in adverse conditions.
posted by yoink at 10:37 AM on June 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


Umbrella-Gate: Obama asks Marines for umbrellas.

The hazards of (presumably) not wielding a Maglia: George W. Bush at the Slovakia Summit 2005.
posted by cenoxo at 11:13 AM on June 28, 2014


George W. Bush at the Slovakia Summit 2005.

Putin's icy satisfaction in the background is the cherry on this lovely moment.
posted by forgetful snow at 9:42 AM on June 29, 2014


Thank you so much for posting this! I am fascinated with umbrellas and just visited Michel Heurtault's shop last week. I've been working through the fact that though I will be in Milan later this week, I will not be able to reach the umbrella museum in Stresa, but now I have another umbrella-related activity to which I can look forward!
posted by taltalim at 2:10 PM on June 29, 2014




Staying alive with the Unbreakable Umbrella — defend yourself!
posted by cenoxo at 2:36 PM on June 30, 2014


I will not be able to reach the umbrella museum in Stresa...

The museum website notes,"There is also an explanation of 'Tarusc' which was the umbrella makers own dialect which allowed them to talk among themselves."

...which lead me to this fascinating 2010 article from The Paris Review: Rain Men: The lost language of Italian parasols and the men who made them.

Here's an excerpt:

"Manni never got as far as plotting any plausible grammar of Tarùsc. He made some progress with his old men, but they were inclined to be grumpy, suspicious, and maddeningly reluctant to share any expressions that related directly to the craft of umbrella-making, because obviously their commitment to trade secrecy outweighed any desire to preserve the language they must have known was on the verge of extinction."
posted by fairmettle at 5:27 PM on June 30, 2014


How An Umbrella in Orbit* saved the SkyLab 2 mission in May 1973:
With a parasol [photo] made from fishing rods and other improvised tools, the first crew to occupy the Skylab space station launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, forty years ago.

Their mission was simple: Snatch victory from the jaws of disaster.

Just three weeks earlier, Skylab had launched atop a modified Saturn V rocket. Its third stage had been converted into a laboratory and home that could support three astronauts at a time. A docking module and the Apollo Telescope Mount provided additional lab space and a unique observatory for studying the Sun. The venture held immense promise for demonstrating the utility of humans in space as they conducted experiments on materials and even fires in space, used themselves as guinea pigs exploring the effects of space on the body, and observed the Sun.

And all of it had nearly gone to the bottom of the sea.
*Designed by NASA engineer Jack Kinzler, who died March 4, 2014, age 94. Parasol construction photos here, here, and here.

No school like the old school...
posted by cenoxo at 8:41 PM on June 30, 2014


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