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instead of a spindly easily breaking shaft, the handle is a telescoping aluminium tube. when closing the umbrella the canopy collapses upwards, and retracts inside the tube. there'd be a plastic cap on a string that seals it (like a reverse pop-gun) - so no water draining all over car or office. haven't
quite figured out how to have the canopy pulled inside the collapsing tube (hey this is the 'half-bakery' after all)
An "American Inventor" finalist in 2006. [jutta, Feb 24 2008]
(?) Andy Wana's Lotus 23, 2005
Winner of the 2005 Australian Design Award/Dyson Student Award [jutta, Feb 24 2008]
||That would be quite some tube, size of a basball bat? Would they (Ashcroft and cronies) let you into any public building with it dangling from your arm, or would you immediately be sent to camp X-ray?
||it's a telescoping tube remember - how small can you scrunch up an umbrella canopy? say 2 sections that telescope down to 25mm (1") dia by 200mm (8"); about the same size as existing collapsible umbrellas... but inside out!
||[haf] yes that's right; a 25mm dia aluminium tube is much more resistant to bending & breaking in anything more than a light breeze than the crap-metal shafts with cut-outs for buttons currently used. and when folded away, no soggy umbrella flopping around & dripping water everywhere cos it's all sealed inside the handle! (of course you'd have to remember to dry it out later so it doesn't go mouldy & whiffy)
and yes it's going to be more expensive, but this is a prestige product!
||As the wet umbrella folds in on itself the excess water will have no place to go but out the end of the handle turning this into a one shot water pistol. Multi tasking (+)