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Who invented the bra?

BraThe use of a piece of garment to cover or restrain the breasts dates back to 6,500 years in Ancient Greece. Women on the island of Crete use some sort brassieres that revealed their bare breasts. They also wore a binding known as an apodesmos or mastodeton during strenuous activities. It is said that brassieres were invented by men so that women's breasts would be smaller, more like a man's.

Henry S. Lesher,  of Brooklyn, New YorkA created and patented a bra-like contraption to give a symmetrical rotundity to the breasts in 1859; Although Lesher's bra looks like the modern bra, the design looks uncomfortable by current standards.

Another pioneer in bra making is the Frenchwoman named Herminie Cadolle.  She is known as the inventor of the first modern bra: a two-piece undergarment called le bien-tre (the wellbeing) in 1889. The le bien-tre consists of a corset for the waist and an upper piece supporting the breasts by means of shoulder straps. By 1905, the upper half was being sold separately as a soutien-gorge (breast support), the name by which bras are still known in France. Cadolle is the founder of the Cadolle lingerie house, a popular intimate apparel store in Paris that exists up to this day.

American Mary Phelps Jacob was granted the first U.S. patent for the brassiere in 1913. Her invention is most widely recognized as the predecessor to the modern bra. She sold the patent to the Warner Brothers Corset Company in Bridgeport, Connecticut, for $1,500 (or over $25,600 in today's money). Warner eventually made an estimated $15 million off Caresse's patent.

In 1922, Ida Rosenthal, a seamstress at the small New York City dress shop, Enid Frocks, along with shop owner Enid Bissett and husband William Rosenthal, changed the look of women's fashion. The "boyish figure" then in style downplayed women's natural curves through the use of a bandeaux brassiere. Their innovation, designed to make their dresses look better on the wearer, consisted of modifying the bandeaux bra to enhance and support women's breasts. Hence, the name "Maidenform". A later innovation is the development of sized brassieres. The company they founded became Maidenform manufacturing company.

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