Who Invented Underwear and How?
The underwear we see today was first designed and sold in the early 1900s. The man behind this idea and design was Arthur Kneibler, a pioneer in underwear history and an apparel engineer. This was done in partnership with Cooper Inc. who sold the first underwear in Chicago USA in January of 1935. The design consisted of briefs that sported leg sections with a Y-shaped overlapping fly. They named the design the “Jockey” because it provided the same kind of support that was previously delivered by a jockstrap. Jockey briefs became so popular that the company sold 30,000 articles in the first three months. Many designs sported metal fasteners and straps.
In the same decade, companies began selling drawers, underwear, that was buttonless and sported an elastic waistband. These were basically boxer shorts. They were named boxers because they literally resembled the shorts boxers, professional fighters wore.
During World War II, underwear became less widespread and the straps were again replaced with buttons due to metal shortages. By the end of World War II, Jockey remained the leaders in the underwear industry.
Peabody, Cluett, and Company rose to also take their place as the leaders when they started selling pre-shrunken underwear. The process of preshrinking, introduced by Sanford Cluett in 1933, was called sanforization and became licensed by most large-scale manufacturers.
Nowadays, underwear is extremely well designed with a lot more science to it than you’d think. Have a go at one of our classic Jockey® Sport Microfiber Active Brief with a modern twist of technology providing you with the most outstanding support and moisture wicking technology. You’ll know exactly what we’re talking about.