Umbrellas aren’t the implements of chaos for diminutive DC villains exclusively. They have a long and rich history as an impromptu means to bludgeon, jab and smack ruffians, as documented by the Bartitsu Society.
The first recognised study of the umbrella in armed combat occurred in 1838 when the Baron Charles de Berenger contemplated its uses against highwaymen, which consisted of blocking the attacker’s line of sight with an umbrella as you drew a pistol and shot the bastard. By the turn of the 20th century, the use of an umbrella or parasol in self defence was being taught to women across Europe — and in America, at the the Philadelphia Institute of Physical Culture.
By the end of the 20th century, tactical umbrella technology had advanced from simple self defence to a full-on assasination tool as unbreakable umbrellas and those with hidden swords gave way to Ricin-injecting models. Heads of state even now carry $US20,000 armour-plated umbrellas in case of acid attack. [Bartitsu Society]
Top art courtesy Bartitsu