History of Umbrella
The origins of the Umbrella Corporation lie with the eugenics movements that dominated Europe and North American debate in the early 20th century. Its three most prominent founding members were Dr. Oswell E. Spencer, The Earl Spencer; Dr. Edward Ashford, 5th Earl Ashford, and Dr. James Marcus, who were university classmates, with further early work from Marcus’ protégé, Brandon Bailey; the 16th Earl Beardsley and his daughter, Mylène; and France’s House of Henry, of which Christine and her father belonged. All were virologists with some associations with the eugenics movement either themselves or by association to another prominent figure. Umbrella’s immediate pre-history truly begins in 1966, when Dr. Marcus developed a hypothesis that a mythical West African flower known as Stairway of the Sun bestowed powers to its consumers by a mutagenic viral infection. In a trip to the Ndipaya tribal lands, the fabled flower was discovered in an underground garden and a virus discovered within it. However, flowers cultivated in the United States failed to replicate the virus. Requiring significant funding beyond their aristocratic links to bring about their eugenics dream, Spencer formed Umbrella Pharmaceuticals on behalf of Ashford and an indifferent Marcus and established a base in the Ndipaya garden so Progenitor samples could be transported over the Atlantic instead. Requiring more money, the three agreed to a plan later known as the “t-Virus Project”, where they would independently develop strains of Progenitor to sell to the US military as a weapon.