John Steed is the cause of my love for the Fox steel tube umbrella. For years I lusted after the sleek look that Patrick Macnee made famous as John Steed, His bowler and brolly were part of the suit. For the bowler, I have a good collection nowadays. Even though in the show it was stated by a character that Steed only wore bowlers from Lock Hatters, there are a few scenes in which you can clearly see the Herbert Johnson shield in the liner… I have bowlers that are period correct from both companies. Anywho, back to the brolly.
These days there aren't as many choices for a gentleman's umbrella, not like the choices you had in the early 1900s. I have myself a Swaine Aideny Brigg in a nice solid wood that can double as a cane if ever I need one, and a whangee handled steel tube Fox Umbrella that mimics Steeds bumbershoot of choice. I love them both, yet prefer the sleek fox for the fact that it is sleek. The one problem I have with the modern version that Fox produces is that they now use a plastic runner rather than a brass one. Both my high end brollys are nylon covered, but sometime when I go back to London I promise I will have these rain protectors redone in a good silk… The patter of warted splatter on the canopy just sounds… well, proper.
Nowadays they always seem to be carrying stick umbrellas with solid pieces of wood at the core... bit more sturdy if you use it as a cane -- which do you prefer?
Some inside shots for good measure.
That darned plastic runner that Fox uses these days.
Steed style with a Whangee grip