Volume 95, Issue 22

Thursday, October 11, 2001
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Boobs: here, there and everywhere

Does size matter?

The supporting role of bras in history

Getting to know your chest

The supporting role of bras in history

1550s - The corset - an unhealthy and painful device designed to narrow a woman's waist to 13, 12, 11, even 10 inches - is the norm. This torture lasts for 350 years


1913 - Mary Phelps Jacob needs an alternative to a corset for a sheer evening gown; so, two silk handkerchiefs and some pink ribbon later, she had designed a new product. The corset's popularity begins to topple.


1914 - Jacob patents the "Backless Brassiere" and markets it under the company name Caresse Crosby

1915 - Jacob eventually bores of running a company and sells the patent to WBCC in Connecticut for $1,500. Warner Bros. makes over $30 million from that patent over the next thirty years

1917 - women are ordered to stop buying corsets during WWI, as it frees up 28,000 tonnes of metal

1928 - Russian immigrant Ida Rosenthal founds Maidenform and becomes responsible for grouping women into bust-size categories

1943 - The Outlaw, starring Jane Russell, is banned because the bra designed by Howard Hughes is a bit too "progressive" for movie viewers of the time

1949 - everyone wants Jane Russell's sexy bullet-busted figure, so Maidenform creates the "Bullet Bra" and sells over 90 million units

1960s - the Women's Liberation Movement begins and burning bras becomes more fashionable than wearing them

1968 - protesters toss bras and girdles on stage at the Miss America pageant

1970 - skin tone bras become fashionable until the mid-90s

1994 - WonderBras finds its place on the chests of women again - thirty years after they were invented

Today - the ongoing quest to raise the breast through means of pads, air and water continues

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