Top 25 Things Women Invented!
#2 Mary Phelps Jacob: The Modern Brassiere
Jacobs was awarded a US patent in 1914 for a Brassiere that supported the breasts up from the shoulders and separated them into two individual shapes. People had experimented with making Brassieres before, but it was the idea of "separating the breasts," that made her design unique.
Prior to Brassieres (or bras) women’s undergarments were uncomfortable. Containing whalebones and steel rods, they virtually squeezed the wearer into "shape". Jacobs' design was in contrast, soft and light, conforming to the wearer’s anatomy.
During WWI her bra design became popular when the U.S. government requested that women stop purchasing corsets in order to conserve metal. Although by this time Jacobs had sold the patent to Warner Brothers Corset Company.