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One account marks this day in 1889, as the brassiere was introduced to the marketplace. Corset-maker Herminie Cadolle invented the ‘Well-Being’ or ‘Bien-ĂȘtre’, a bra-like device sold as a health aid. The corset’s support for the breasts squeezed up from below. Cadolle changed breast support to the shoulders down–but clearly, corsets continued to be part of women’s wardrobe.

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Undoubtedly, women of Indianapolis were able to obtain such items at The When, Ayres, Block’s, Wassons and possibly Rink’s. Hard to fathom making such things at home, but the ladies of yesteryear were (by and large) nothing, if not deft in the sewing department.

The above advert from a 1908, Ladies Home Journal is the earliest example I could find from my collection of a brassiere.

The following 6 adverts are from Good Housekeeping, 1919. Some brassieres, some corsets…

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And from January 1932, Ladies Home Journal…

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And March 1948, from Good Housekeeping

 

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You can find lots of the above style on ebay or etsy…

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The next one may have been one of Madonna’s inspirations in her bullet-bra era…

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