A Brief History Of Briefs

The surprisingly adventurous roots of a very personal effect.

    Photo: Courtesy of PACT

1323 B.C.: King Tutan­khamen is buried with 145 loincloths

1764: The spinning jenny, which dramatically reduces the time it takes to produce yarn, allows the mass production of cotton underwear

1868: The union suit debuts, followed by its soon-to-be-infamous "fireman's flap"

1874: The jockstrap is invented to support Boston cyclists riding on cobblestone streets

1909: Robert Peary plants an American flag at the North Pole wearing custom-made underwear, sewn by his wife, with special pockets to keep his navigational instruments warm

1915: Frank Stanfield patents the "long john"

1935: Coopers Inc. (later renamed Jockey) sells the first pair of tighty-whiteys

1983: Risky Business

2000: Pull-In Underwear sponsors action-sports stars who pull out their boxers

2009: Undies go philanthropic with designer Yves Behar and PACT: Now you can shop for underwear by cause—oceans, forests, or literacy. wearpact.com

More at Outside

Elsewhere on the Web

Comments