History Of The Bra

Graham Bowes


  • The bra (or brassiere) is a form-fitting garment that is designed to support a woman’s breasts.
  • Bras are important to women’s health as they help to prevent back/spinal pain and damage.
  • From the 14th century up to the late 19th century, women wore corsets.
  • The corset was a type of undergarment that supported the breasts and defined the waistline. They were very uncomfortable and also posed some risks to women’s health, risks such as lung and rib damage.
  • In 1893 Mary Tucek was grated the first bra patent for a crude “breast supporter” which was basically an underwire bra.
  • The first modern bra was patented on November 3rd, 1914
  • When she was 19, Mary Phelps Jacob created the “Backless Brassiere”. She created it as a way to avoid wearing her corset.
  • The bra made by Mary Phelps was basically just two handkerchiefs sewn together, and the bias of the fabric created cups of sorts.
  • Mary Phelps sold the patent to The Warner Brothers Corset Company for the modern equivalent of $21,000.
  • During WWI there was a shortage of metal and an increase of women in the workforce. This helped the bra to replace the corset.
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