Louis Réard, the inventor of bikini, with a model in 1946. The idea of a suit “smaller than the world’s smallest bathing suit” struck him when he saw women rolling up their beachwear to get a better tan. He named his creation bikini after the Bikini Atoll, which was the site of nuclear weapon tests. Words like “atomic” were beginning to be used by the media to describe something sensational and indeed, the shock the bikini would eventually cause would equal that of the bomb.
July 1939. Gordonton, N.C. "Country store on dirt road. Sunday afternoon. Note kerosene pump on the right and the gasoline pump on the left. Rough, unfinished timber posts have been used as supports for porch roof. Negro men sitting on the porch. Brother of store owner stands in doorway." 4x5 nitrate negative by Dorothea Lange for the Farm Security Administration.