Monday, September 25, 2006
If you look closely you can see one of the statue women is using a half-bra arrangement. There were lots of ways of supporting bosoms before Mary Phelps Jacobs came along but in 1913 she nabbed the patent for the brassiere.
If you say bra properly it can get a bit muddly. The long name is brassiere which is french for 'upper arm' - hmm. Anyway, because this is French some people end up saying brasserie or brazier or even brassica. The idea of Mum wearing a lovely little bar/restaurant or a flaming outdoor fire or even a piece of broccoli is quite funny to me. In fact I am not even sure she wears an actual bra - and I am not going to ask because believe me, she would tell me. And that is because she is convinced that children who ask questions should be given Proper Answers and while a simple 'yes' or 'no' would do for me, it would not do for Mum and I can see her calling in Dad for a man-to-man chat about women's bits.
Anyway the real bra is probably more complicated than any of these things. Before Mary Phelps Jacobs, people (women) used all sorts of stuff like whalebones (big womenI think) and steel rods (strong women) to hold their bosoms up. Mary Phelps Jacobs used silk hankys, ribbon and a maid. I do not think you need to use a maid nowadays but I cannot be sure. I am glad I am not a girl.