|The History of Bras...
Hundreds of Years of Bras, Over the Shoulder Boulder Holders, Binders and Brassieres!
had a dream in my maidenform bra!*
Lift! Separate! Cross Your Heart!
Full Coverage and Busting Out!
How ladies have been containing themselves through the ages.
In 1863, Luman L Chapman patented a corset substitute with
breast puffs and shoulder-brace straps that tied in back. The first bra was born. Then in
1893, Marie Tucek patented the "Breast Supporter" - the first garment
similar to the modern-day bra that used shoulder straps with a hook-and-eye closure to
support the breasts in pockets of fabric.
In 1904, the Charles R. DeBevoise Company first labeled a woman's bra-like garment
a 'brassiere'. It was a actually a lightly boned camisole that helped stabilize
By 1907, the term "brassiere"
began to show up in high profile women's magazines and eventually, around 1912, it
appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary. In 1913, Mary's Secret appeared. Mary Phelps
jacob, a new York socialite, made a 'backless brasierre' from two silk handkerchiefs and
some ribbon. Her friends were sold on this innovative idea and encouraged Mary to apply
for a patent for her "Backless Brassiere" design. Within a short time, Mary lost
interest in the garment business and sold her patent to Warner Brother's Corset Company
for $1,500.00. Today, Warner Brother's are a leading name brand manufacturer of bras.
By 1928, entrepreneurs William and Ida Rosenthal took the bra to its next stage by
introducing cup sizes and bras for all stages of a women's life. Several
year's later, Warner added the A to D sizing system which became the
standard in 1935.
In 1943 Howard Hughes, famous billionaire and genuine lover of cleavage
designed a cantilevered bra to better show off Jane Russell's cleavage in the movie 'The
Jane Russell in 'The Outlaw'
In 1947, Frederick Mellinger, founder of the
Frederick's of Hollywood, began selling intimate apparel in his Los
*In 1949, Maidenform introduced its famous 'I dreamed' ad campaign!
Advertising Age named the 'I dreamed' ads # 28 of the top 100 most memorable
advertising campigns of the 20th century! The earliest ads were drawings of women
that were wearing just a bra above the waist in a variety of dream sequences (See above)! Tag lines included such greats as, 'I was an Eskimo in my Maidenform bra' and
the ones above, to updated versions from the late 60s like, 'I dreamed I had the world on
a string in my Maidenform bra'.
By 1959, Warners and Dupont had produced Lycra, the renown stretchy
fabric. The result was the true appreciation for jiggle decrease! But then by the
late 60s, women were burning their bras. In fact, one such bra burning was staged
near the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey in 1968!
The 1970s saw the development of the Ah-h Bra (1972) from Sears, and the
sports bra in 1977 created by Lisa Lindahl and Polly Smith who sewed two jockstraps
together and named it the Jogbra!
And then in the 1990s, the bra industry leaped to a new level in the quest for cleavage by
utilizing water, air and silicone pads. Improvements in these developments take us on into
the 21st century with companies like Fashion Forms which are mostly about
breast management and enhancement.