This section is from the "A Complete Dictionary of Dry Goods" book, by George S. Cole. Also available from Amazon: A complete dictionary of dry goods and history of silk, cotton, linen, wool and other fibrous substances,: Including a full explanation of the modern processes ... together with various useful tables.
Parasol. [From parry, guard, and Sol, the sun] A light umbrella, or sun-shade, carried by women. According to historical records the parasol with a movable canopy was first used, as a mark of dignity, by the Romans. It came afterwards to be naturally devoted to the practical purpose for which it is used at the present day. Similarly, the employment of richer fabrics and the occasional addition of elaborate embroidery or lace, compose the few changes which, in our day, fashion has been able to make in its character.