Umbrella from James Smith

When I arrived in London in February 2001 one of the first things I did was to buy a quality umbrella. It rains quite often in London, I reasoned, and I don’t want to keep buying cheapo umbrellas that break. Might as well get a good one that will last.

I went to James Smith & Sons, a world-famous maker of umbrellas and walking sticks. I paid – if I recall correctly – £90 for a proper city umbrella. They look to be £125 now.

I still have that umbrella, today, and I still use it all the time. I’ve never taken any special care of it, and in fact have probably treated it more roughly than I ought to. Nevertheless, its ribs are still in good shape, the canopy is intact, and the mechanism for putting it up and down work just fine. It is one fine piece of rain-avoiding machinery, and it’s done much better than dozens of cheaper ones would have.

Thanks, James Smith. Quality craftmanship is worth it.

The brolly that won't quit


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