Saturday, January 19, 2013
Hosiery manufacturer Coopers, Inc., sold the world’s first pair of briefs on January 19, 1935, at Marshall Field's State Street store in Chicago. The company named the underwear the “Jockey,” since it offered a type of support previously available only with the jockstrap, which had been invented in 1874 by another Chicago company, Sharp & Smith, for “bicycle jockeys” in Boston. The briefs, designed by an “apparel engineer” named Arthur Kneibler, omitted traditional leg sections and sported a Y-shaped, overlapping fly. The briefs proved to be popular – more than 30,000 were sold within three months. The company, which renamed itself Jockey, claims the undergarment sold out in stores almost immediately, so it flew special deliveries of the "masculine support" Jockey briefs to retailers in what it called a "Mascu-liner" airplane.