Brassiere


History of the Bra

In 2500 BC, Greek woman on the isle of Crete started wearing a garment resembling a bra pushing their bare breasts up and out of their clothing. Then Roman woman squeezed their breasts into a breast band to minimize their busts and Egyptian women painted their breasts.

In 1913 Mary Phelps Jacob came up with the idea of a bra-like garment to wear under a gown that was sheer. Taking two hankies, ribbon, and cord she devised a bra. And women started ordering these from her. In 1914 she patented her idea and it was titled “‘Backless Brassiere’. Jacob later sold her company to Warners Brothers Corset Company for $1,500.

Before Jacob had her brilliant idea women had been wearing binding corsets or the union suit which was woolen and warm but not supporting or flattering.

In 1893 Marie Tucek patented the “Breast Supporter”. It had separate pockets for each breast, shoulder straps, and hooks and eyes.

In 1907 Vogue used the word brassiere from the French word upper arm.

In the 1920’s Ida and William Rosenthal forming the Maidenform Company. (see bio)

Howard Hughes used his aeronautical skills to design a bra for Jane Russell, making her an overnight sensation.

The 1930’s saw the shortening of the word brassiere to bra.

The 1940’s developed with added padding to the cups.

With the 1950’s came the design of the bullet bra.

In the late 1960’s, many women decided to burn their bras. It was considered an act of liberation and empowerment in a male dominated society.

Written by alonesolo/fashiontales

1920s bra with busk hook - Courtesy of dorotheaseclosetvintage

1920s bra with busk hook Courtesy of dorotheaseclosetvintage

1930s bra  - Courtesy of thevintagemerchant

1930s bra Courtesy of thevintagemerchant

Late1930s nursing bra  - Courtesy of alleycats

Late1930s nursing bra Courtesy of alleycats

Vintage late 1930s bra  - Courtesy of sewingmachinegirl

Vintage late 1930s bra Courtesy of sewingmachinegirl

1940s Bali  Bra  - Courtesy of pleasurequeen

1940s Bali Bra Courtesy of pleasurequeen

Vintage 1940s Lady May bra - Courtesy of sewingmachinegirl

Vintage 1940s Lady May bra Courtesy of sewingmachinegirl

Vintage 1940s bra - Courtesy of sewingmachinegirl

Vintage 1940s bra Courtesy of sewingmachinegirl

Vintage 1940s bra - Courtesy of sewingmachinegirl

Vintage 1940s bra Courtesy of sewingmachinegirl

1950s Exquisite Form Bullet Bra - Courtesy of Pennidrea

1950s Exquisite Form Bullet Bra Courtesy of Pennidrea

Vintage mid 1950s petal burst Wonder bra  - Courtesy of sewingmachinegirl

Vintage mid 1950s petal burst Wonder bra Courtesy of sewingmachinegirl

Vintage late 1950s bullet bra  - Courtesy of sewingmachinegirl

Vintage late 1950s bullet bra Courtesy of sewingmachinegirl

1950s bullet bra  - Courtesy of thevintagemerchant

1950s bullet bra Courtesy of thevintagemerchant

Vintage late 1950s satin Grenier bustier  - Courtesy of gilo49

Vintage late 1950s satin Grenier bustier Courtesy of gilo49

Vintage 1960s Amethyst bullet bra - Courtesy of sewingmachinegirl

Vintage 1960s Amethyst bullet bra Courtesy of sewingmachinegirl

Vintage Diabolic bra - Courtesy of sewingmachinegirl

Vintage Diabolic bra Courtesy of sewingmachinegirl

Vintage late 1960s front close bra - Courtesy of gilo49

Vintage late 1960s front close bra Courtesy of gilo49

Vintage 1960s My S Ross bra - Courtesy of poppysvintageclothing@sympatico.ca

Vintage 1960s My S Ross bra Courtesy of poppysvintageclothing@sympatico.ca

1960s Maidenform box -  Courtesy of flannerycrane

1960s Maidenform box Courtesy of flannerycrane

1960s  Maidenform box - Courtesy of flannerycrane

1960s Maidenform box Courtesy of flannerycrane

1960s Exquisite Form box - Courtesy of flannerycrane

1960s Exquisite Form box Courtesy of flannerycrane

Vintage 1960s Sarong bra - Courtesy of gilo49

Vintage 1960s Sarong bra Courtesy of gilo49

1965 Mary Quant Bra from her first line  - Courtesy of fuzzylizzie

1965 Mary Quant Bra from her first line Courtesy of fuzzylizzie

Vintage late 1960s/early 1970s Corette front close bra - Courtesy of gilo49

Vintage late 1960s/early 1970s Corette front close bra Courtesy of gilo49

1970s Loveable Bra   - Courtesy of alonesolo/fashiontales

1970s Loveable Bra Courtesy of alonesolo/fashiontales

Vintage 1970s Pucci bra - Courtesy of vivavintageclothing

Vintage 1970s Pucci bra Courtesy of vivavintageclothing

Vintage 1970s Lucy bra - Courtesy of sewingmachinegirl

Vintage 1970s Lucy bra Courtesy of sewingmachinegirl

 Vintage mid 1970s Gossard Wonderbra  - Courtesy of Jonathan Walford/Kickshaw Productions

Vintage mid 1970s Gossard Wonderbra Courtesy of Jonathan Walford/Kickshaw Productions

Vintage late 1970s Grenier Love Latch bra - Courtesy of gilo49

Vintage late 1970s Grenier Love Latch bra Courtesy of gilo49

Vintage 1980s Keri Vanderschuittulle bustier  - Courtesy of poppys vintage clothing on ruby lane

Vintage 1980s Keri Vanderschuittulle bustier Courtesy of poppys vintage clothing on ruby lane

Vintage 1980s Breathless bustier  - Courtesy of poppys vintage clothing on ruby lane

Vintage 1980s Breathless bustier Courtesy of poppys vintage clothing on ruby lane

1990s Aubade bustier - Courtesy of themerchantsofvintage

1990s Aubade bustier Courtesy of themerchantsofvintage

1990s Aubade sports bra  - Courtesy of themerchantsofvintage

1990s Aubade sports bra Courtesy of themerchantsofvintage

1990s bustier with garters  - Courtesy of themerchantsofvintage

1990s bustier with garters Courtesy of themerchantsofvintage

1990s bustier with garters  - Courtesy of themerchantsofvintage

1990s bustier with garters Courtesy of themerchantsofvintage

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