Invention of BRASSIERE (1889) (Cadolle introduces a revolutionary new undergarment for women)

Before Bras came along, corsets were the garments of choice for women to provide support and create a shapely silhouette of their figures. However, the whalebone reinforcement in corsets made them an uncomfortable and restricting item to wear.  When Frenchwoman Herminie Cadolle 91845-1926) cut the corset in half in 1889, she created the very first bra.

In the late nineteenth century, cadolle moved to Bienos Aires in Argentina, where she opened a lingerie shop.  There she had the idea of separating the corset into two parts.  She  unveiled her new design, which used shoulder straps for support and was called the corselet gorge, at the Great Universal Exhibition of 1889 in Paris 9Another feat of engineering-the Eiffel Tower-was also constructed for this event).

Cadoll’s designs were among the first to use rubber thread or elastic.  She used the new material to replace the old whalebones and lasing the corsets.  Cadoll’s prototype bra received an update in 1910, when New York socialite Nary Phelps Jacob fashioned her own version that could be worn under a sheer evening dress.  It consisted of two silk handkerchiefs tied to length of ribbon and Phelps Jacob eventually patented it in 1914 under the name “brassiere”.

The Bra did not become popular until world war I, when men left to fight and women took jobs in factories and required more practical undergarment.  Women were asked to stop wearing corsets because industry needed the metal used in them for the war effort.  Cup sizes were not invented until the 1920s, by Russian immigrants Ida and William Rosental.

“New Yorker henry Lesher invented a rubber and cloth Bra-style garment in 1859.  The design never caught on”.
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