A sunshade in the Mediterranean, a shelter from the rain in England; in late 17c. usage, usually as an Oriental or African symbol of dignity. Said to have been used by women in England from c. 1700; the use of rain-umbrellas carried by men there traditionally is dated to c. 1750, first by Jonas Hathaway, noted traveler and philanthropist. Figurative sense of "authority, unifying quality" (usually in a phrase such as under the umbrella of) is recorded from 1948.
"apparatus, usually in the shape of a very large umbrella, carried in an aircraft, that may allow a person or thing to drop to the surface below without injury or damage," 1784 (the year the first use of one was attempted, in Paris), from French parachute, literally "that which protects against a fall," hybrid coined by French aeronaut François Blanchard (1753-1809) from para- "defense against" (see para- (2)) + chute "a fall" (see chute).
PARACHUTE, a kind of large and strong umbrella, contrived to break a person's fall from an airballoon, should any accident happen to the balloon at a high elevation. ["Supplement to the Encyclopaedia or Dictionary of Arts and Sciences," Philadelphia, 1803]