Monday, September 25, 2006

Fascinating Invention No. 7 - The Bra


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.

12 comments:

Susan Abraham said...

Oooh Wilf...
what's got into you all of a sudden?
Been reading one to many of my posts?
Perhaps we should change the subject and just play with trains or something. The word broccoli is starting to give me a wicked imagination.
hee-hee

Atyllah said...

Oh Addy, that was brilliant - I had a good chuckle. Personally, I can imagine Wilf's mum wearing a brassica, though not necessarily for support purposes!

Wilf said...

Yes, Susan! I have been reading your posts and it set me wondering! I actually thought the bra was a more modern invention and somehow I felt that it had to be British! I was woring on both counts but was so glad to see that a maid was needed for the first effort - I often think that a nice tight vest would be easier to put on.
Addy

Wilf said...

Thanks, Atyllah. The broccoli seems to have struck a chord, I shall have to investigate vegetables a bit more!
Addy

Khylan Seriphyn said...

LOL! How clever. My favourite line "I do not think you need to use a maid nowadays..."

Excellent infotainment.
xx

Khylan

Wilf said...

Thanks, Khylan. I would actually love a maid but not to do my bra up!
Addy

Candy said...

Such a scientific mind, Wilf. In two or three years, I'm sure you'll have different views. BTW TONIGHT IS THE NIGHT WE'RE SLEEPING OVER AT THE SCIENCE MUSEUM!

Claire Jones said...

Greetings from Kuala Lumpur, God Mother calling...

Please don't talk about vegetables - it is two weeks since I was in Blighty and apart from a glimpse of the occasional raw carrot and cooked broccoli, I haven't eaten any veggies at all!!!!

Mind you the Malaysians do like cooked lettuce! Ugh!

Mean watermelon tho'!

Jude said...

Yep- I think you'll find Wilf that you boys have it easy!

Wilf said...

Ah, veg talk, well it IS one of my favourite topics but if you insist...
Addy

Wilf said...

I don't know Jude - Dad has told me some pretty worrying stuff involving sharp blades and foam.

Wilf said...

Wow, Candy! Hope you had a fantastic time!