Brief history of the bra: a short video for The Pool

Pretty much everyone who knows me is now aware that, a few years ago, I did an MA part-time alongside my job and my Master’s dissertation was on technology and the bra in the twentieth century. Since then, I have been looking for ways to share this research as I love talking about the things I found out. In addition to the exhibition I curated for The Underpinnings Museum, I have also spoken about the history of the bra on Helen Zaltzman’s podcast The Allusionist and, most recently, in a short video for The Pool.

When the lovely Amy Jones contacted me to say that she’d seen the exhibition and wondered if I’d be interested in making a video on the history of the bra, I jumped at the chance. Not least because The Pool* is one of my favourite websites and is always an absolute joy in an internet full of outrage and disappointment. I also said yes, because a woman whose work I admire wanted to include me in it, and because I still love it when people want to hear me talk about what I’ve learnt.

There was one important fact that got lost in the edit – underwiring and lettered cup sizes were invented in the 1930s in the US, but didn’t make it over to the UK until the 50s – but overall I’m pretty impressed with the video. Especially when you consider that Amy has taken over an hour of footage of me chatting away and condensed it into something interesting and watchable! If you want to hear more of me talking about bras, keep an eye on The Underpinnings Museum social media channels for news of our next event. In the meantime, here’s my video for The Pool.

UPDATE: Sadly the wonderful website that was The Pool no longer exists, but thankfully their YouTube content is still up. Also, Amy created a longer version of the video which can be found on my academic research page.

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