History and Story Behind Inventions: Padded Bra

About the story behind the invention of padded bras, history and biography of inventor D.J. Kennedy


INVENTOR: D.J. Kennedy, G.B.

YEAR: 1929

HOW INVENTED: Learning that in the 1928 Oslo, Norway, Olympics, Sweden's foremost female athlete, Lois Lung, had lost the women's 400-meter hurdle when her knee had hit one breast on the last barrier and brought her writhing to the cinder path in pain, Kennedy conceived of a protective or padded brassiere.

Kennedy's Patent No. 324,870 reads: "Breast Pads for protecting the breasts from injuries resulting from athletic sports. The garment combines 2 groups of annular [ring-shaped] rubber tubes of progressively decreasing diameters arranged in conical form and connected to each other so that when the tubes are inflated a connection of air may pass from one breast pad to the other. The 2 sets of tubes are covered with leather." Little could Kennedy know that his invention would thrive not for its use as a safety measure but for its use as the deception popularly known as falsies.

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