Articles

Umbrellas: The iPhones of the Victorian Age

New technologies help create a sense of personal privacy in public.

Reason , March 2017

Before the smartphone or the hoodie, the iPod or the Walkman—even before the automobile—that technology was the umbrella. It gave its bearer space and a semblance of privacy. Like the smartphone and the music player, it also provided ample material for humorists, social critics, and arbiters of manners.