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When Was the First Bra or Brassiere?
Until recently, it was thought that the first modern bra or brassiere was not more than 100 years old, maybe at the turn of the 19th Century. Now, it appears that the modern bra was actually worn in Austria during the Middle Ages by rich women some 600 years ago!
The bra was found in the Lemberg castle under the floorboards in 2008 and are made of linen. The artifact was sent for carbon dating and the result was true. Researchers found a total of four bras among more than 2700 textile items intermixed with dirt and leather. Like today's bra, the 15th century bras has two cups and shoulder straps with a back strap. More stunning was that the bras were also decorated with lace, obviously, meant to please those looking at them. Also found at Lemberg Castle in Tyrol was a linen undergarment that looks very much like a pair of panties.
The history of women's underwear seems to be the bra was first, then, the corset, replacing the bra, then, the bra being reinvented in the early 19th century. But, what is truly amazing is that the items survived over 600 years, hidden from the elements. Think of the story of how they got there, who wore them, why are the under the floor?