The world's oldest push up bra actually dates to the early 1800s and several bra like patents were issued during that century but the credit for the first bra that provided both shape and support goes to Herminie Cadolle who patented her le bien-être (well-being) in 1889. By 1905, the upper half was sold separately as a soutien-gorge, a name still used in France today and she was also the first to use elastic. This Cadolle brassiere is from the 1950s.
♥ remembering my Mom having one just like this. she was a size 1, yet every day she wore a coset, girdle or tight belt. Her waist was 19 then grew to 21"
Cotton (sateen?) corset with metal and bone 1830–35, American - in the Metropolitan Museum of Art costume collections.
Embroidered silk nightgown, Chinese, early 1920s. Worn by Mrs. Herbert Sage Mesick (part of a lingerie set, with slip, and tap pants and bra).