Today, we learn how 'bra' went from meaning a piece of French armour to something sold at Victoria's Secret.
Bra expert Lori Smith gives us a peek beneath the blouses of yore, from bra-boning to bra-burning.
Here's the first recorded appearance of the word 'brassiere', in Vogue from 23rd May 1907:
Fancy making your own hankie bra, a la Mary Phelps Jacobs? Here's the pattern. Or the blueprints for a power station, I'm not sure.
Here's an instructional video to help you:
Nope, not a clue.
They discovered a medieval bra, AKA 'breastbags'.
Mary Phelps Jacobs changed her name to Caresse Crosby and went on to have an intriguing, turbulent life - patenting the first brassiere was certainly not the pinnacle of her achievements.
MAILCHIMP'S RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
This episode is sponsored by unroll.me, who will make your inbox as tidy as a flapper's chest.
Presented and produced by Helen Zaltzman.
'Allusionist Theme' - Martin Austwick
'Underwear' - Magnetic Fields
'Underneath Your Clothes' [Instrumental] - Shakira
'Underwear' - Pulp
The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia for PRX.