There is much controversy about who first invented the brassiere.Â Henry Lesher is credited by some with patenting the first brassiere, in 1859. While his design looks more or less like a bra, (though the figure of the person wearing it hardly looks like a woman), he designed it primarily as a â€œbreast pad and perspiration shieldâ€. While it was also designed to â€œgive a symmetrical rotundityâ€ it was not intended for breast support.
Many attribute the invention of the modern brassiere to Mary Phelps Jacob mostly because her patent was the first to use the french word “brassiere”.Â Her invention was backless and was held in place by straps which wrapped around the woman and tied in front. But, as she writes in her patent description, on February 12, 1914 her invention was meant to be worn with evening gowns that were cut low in the back and was intended to â€œcover the top of the corset and hold the wearer in proper formâ€. Again, she did not mention breast support.
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