Englishman, Jonas Hanway when he returned from a trip to France, started carrying an umbrella around the rainy streets of London.
In 1750s, it was considered *too French* to carry an umbrella – people outraged and even called it a “weakness of character” to carry an umbrella.
Over the years, Hanway and his umbrella fell victim to all sorts of abuse from Brits he passed on the sidewalk. The most pernicious abuse came from an unlikely source: coach drivers. In England at the time, hansom cabs (two-wheeled, horse-drawn carriages) and sedan chairs were the primary modes of transportation. Business boomed especially on rainy days, as both hansom cabs and sedan chairs came equipped with small canopies that kept passengers dry. When it rained, Londoners flocked to these coaches, so Hanway’s umbrella represented a threat to business (via).
He faced a lot of violent threats. A cab driver even tried to run Hanway over with his coach.
Jonas Hanway, stubborn he was paid little attention to the social stigma and threats. And today, we all know the role umbrella plays in the daily lives of Britishers.
When was the last time you saw / met Jonas Hanway in your city, in your country? The ones who push things forward. The ones who are are laughed at / ridiculed for being different.
When was the last time you were ridiculed or laughed at?