Major Milestones in Bra History
Posted on November 10 2015
1907: It's All About That Name
American Vogue magazine was the first place that "brassiere" was use in print. A few years later, in 1911, it had its place earned in the Oxford English Dictionary.
1914: Hanky Panky?
Mary Phelps Jacob, a socialite of New York City, got the patent for inventing what would become the modern bra. She made it using two handkerchiefs and a silk ribbon; she called it the "Backless Brassiere." Not the first bra design it was the most widely used on up to that time and she eventually sold the patent to the Warner Brothers Corset Company.
1918: The Decline of the Corset
World War I played a big role in the corset becoming less common in America. During the war more women were in the workforce and the corset was cumbersome, restrictive, and even dangerous. The U.S. War Industries Board used the 28,000 tons of metal would have gone into making corsets during the course of the war and it was enough steel to make two battleships!
1920s: Cup Sizes
Ida Rosenthal and husband William, along with Enid Bissett worked together to create a bra that had discernable cups- the first of its kind. This bandeau-style top was the first bra style to offer actual cups to hold the breasts and it was sewn into dresses.
1947-1950s: The Cleavage Years
Frederick Mellinger, gave the world the first padded bra in 1947. A year later, his bra “The Rising Star” became the first push-up bra. Mellinger is the one who decades later gave us the front-hook bra, colorful fashion corsets, and gave women the first bra accessory piece- the thong.
1968: The Bra Burners
Feminists protested in large numbers at the 1968 Miss America pageant, calling for an end of bras and a freeing of breasts to be natural once again. They called bras "instruments of female torture." They tried to burn their bras as part of the demonstration but police stopped them; however, the name bra burners stuck.
1977: Sports Bras and Sexy Bras
In the same year Victoria's Secret was founded, the first sports bra was conceived using two jock straps. With the help of avid runners and women's fashion experts the Jogbra was created. That same year what would come to be the line of bras and lingerie that is now synonymous with sex and fashion was born and the first Victoria's Secret store was opened.
2000: Going Red Hot
The most expensive version of Victoria's Secrets Red Hot Fantasy Bra wad modelled in 2000-Made from red satin and hand-cut Thai rubies and diamonds, it's has held the Guinness Book of Records for the most expensive and luxurious piece of underwear every made. And the price tag? A staggering $15 million!
2011: Bra Sizes Increases