Let’s take some time today to stop what we’re doing and honor the brassiere, which turns 99 years old today.
Although there were bras before November 2, 1914, that was the day that the U.S. Patent Office awarded the first patent for a brassiere to Mary Phelps Jacob, a New York City socialite. In 1910 Mary Phelps Jacob had to attend a debutante ball but didn’t want to wear the uncomfortable whalebone corset that was common for women at the time. In a true moment of inspiration, she got a maid to help her tie two silk handkerchiefs together with pink ribbons and fashioned a makeshift bra. Other women at the party were impressed and asked if she could make some for them. From that moment on, she knew she had a profitable idea.
After Mary Phelps Jacob got the patent, she began making and selling bras on a small scale. After a few years of turning a small profit, Mary Phelps Jacob’s husband made her sell the patent to Warners Brothers Corset Company for $1,500. The company went on to make over $15 million off of the patent.
Unlike Jacob’s husband, we appreciate bras and all that they do. To celebrate this day, we figured we’d find pictures of Hollywood stars in the most need of the brassiere’s support.