Thursday, March 13, 2008

Women's History Month Profile - Mary Phelps Jacob

Since March is Women's History Month, I thought I would learn more about the woman who brought brassieres into being. Mary Phelps Jacob (self-nicknamed "Polly") was a young New York socialite and descendant of Governor Bradford, the first governor of the Plymouth Colony.

In 1910 Polly wore a sheer evening gown to a social event, but the whalebone from the corset poked out underneath the sheer fabric. So she and her maid stitched two silk handkerchiefs together with some pink ribbon and cord.

The garment was current with the styles of the time, and soon many people were flocking to her to request brassieres of their own. After realizing how popular her garment had become, Polly patented it under the name "Brassiere", derived from the French word for "upper arm". However, business ownership did not appeal to her, and she sold the patent to the Warner Brothers Corset Company in Bridgeport, Connecticut for $1,500.

Polly was one of the many women who was revolutionary in her time and who made a mark on history. Brassieres have come a long way, but we have Polly to thank for the birth of the garment.

To celebrate Polly's mark on history, why not buy one of Lingerie Diva's lovely bra sets? Now bras are not only functional, but beautiful and meant to be seen!